The Last American Cold War Veteran
Military Equipment, Life Sized Armature of Found Materials
During the final weeks of the Cold War, Joe entered the Army Reserve. He would serve there and in the Army National Guard for six years during which time he completed his undergraduate degree and began his path through the working world. Meanwhile America's focus for military preparedness shifted from the Eastern Bloc to the Middle East. The experience fostered dual identities, student and infantryman, and gave Joe perspective on the ironies of humans lives lived in the context of the grand history, the fragility of peaceful existence and the ridiculousness of human illusions of control over their circumstances. Much later, while trying to figure out what to do with his old uniforms, Joe was inspired fist by a duo of imposing wooden Japanese guardian deity sculptures on display at the Cleveland Museum of Art and second, while thumbing through a collection of photos from community newspapers commemorating last local veterans of the U.S. Civil War. The piece itself recounts a lost incident during a chemical warfare drill in which Joe was photographed in full mufti for combat in a chemical environment holding a small cardboard sign proclaiming his love for his girlfriend. It, along with a second representation of Joe, likewise composed in the main out of Joe's old uniforms, will serve as guardians of Joe's workspace. Sculpted plinths and backdrop concepts are still being considered.
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