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A conversation with artist Steve Mumford

Need to Know’s Alison Stewart spoke with war artist Steve Mumford, who was embedded with U.S. troops during the first six years of the Iraq war.

Although Mumford says he set out to draw the horror of war, and did on occasion encounter scenes of conflict, the overall impression a viewer gets from Mumford’s work is of the ordinariness of life in a war zone.

“I don’t want to give a false impression, that everything is nice here,” Mumford said. “On the other hand, that is usually how life is in a war zone, you know, until something bad happens.”



  • Gene Kohn

    Would you consider drawing/painting the following depiction on the Gulf Oil Crisis:

    Looking onto the rectangle panel from left to right, the left side would have a group of people refusing a glass/pitcher of water that is loaded with carbon based oil and chemical dispersant. The people would decline the offer to drink the contaminated concoction vehemently.

    On the right side I would have you depict an ocean of the same concoction, perhaps in the form of a large aquarium tank with creatures of the gulf ocean.

    The caption for the left would read “You and I have the right to refuse the toxic and deadly concoction”…on the right, it reads “They do not”. Underneath both, in bold letters, it should read “CONSERVE”.

    This then becomes the basis for a Billboard.

  • rockrat

    Please do a whole show on Steve Mumfords work.

    I’ve seen news video and photos, and I was floored at how much more powerful and engaging his sketches and water clors were of “everyday ordinariness of a war zone” especially when a lucky moment of symbolism presented itself.