It is amazing how an artist can portray one image into millions. In this instance, Adam Helms has taken the image of a jihad soldier and has used shadow to transform the image of a soldier into something more mysterious, haunting and evil. The portrait reveals an almost surreal depiction of a soldier. We, the audience, are naturally pushed to assume that the image shows evil which is exactly why art is so powerful. It is interesting how Helms has positioned the shadow, it looks as if the soldier is smiling in a very sinister manner. Adam Helms
Paper Works Gallery
Curated by Cydney Payton
Adam Helms draws attention to the continuum between past and present states of violence, occupation and injustice. Helms uses composite images sourced through the internet and unearthed in library archives to suggest a frontier that is both familiar and distant. His hand is revealed in the work through drawings, thus making personal the interior story of each image. The exhibition of new works on paper and a large- scale sculpture at MCA DENVER – his first solo museum installation portrays radical political groups and extremist subcultures throughout history.
Above: Adam Helms, Shadow (Portrait of a jihadi), 2008, Double sided silkscreen on vellum, 40 x 26 inches, Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Sister Gallery, Los Angeles