It was great to go wild on the heads of the protesters, and find their form. Indignant and angry the faces are being worn. They cheer each other on and by accident, part of their own personal sorrow is thrown around the protest. Often this results in separation, rather than getting the bystanders along.
One of the heads threatens to spit out his teeth from anger. This is for me a high point of portrait art. A joy to look at all the vehemence.
This is my first group portrait in which I have used the interaction between people as a subject. It has become a representation of how a group of American soldiers – read: young people from the countryside with little sophistication. Their ignorance of culture outside their own country becomes a tragedie when they have to bring democracy to an other culture. I show this in a Chaplinesk manner, as a comedy of ignorance where good “intentions” easily resolves into an act of barbarism.