Artists Depict the Ripple Effect of 9/11

Living in Brooklyn, NY it is impossible not to be affected by the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Although I did not make my way to Ground Zero today (I felt the commemoration ceremony was more for family members, firemen, and police officers who lost loved ones in the Twin Towers), I did spend several hours with my husband listening to stories onNPR, reading CNN, and remembering.

I wanted to share this collection of artwork curated by CNN, with ImageThink illustrating the ripple effect of 9/11. I’ve selected 3 pieces that spoke strongest to me. Please click HERE to view the entire collection.

Marcus Kenney, ‘The New Slang’

Artist’s statement:

The 10 years following the September 11 attacks have seen many words added to our everyday vernacular. Arab words like “jihad,” “Taliban,” “fatah,” “Ramadan” and “al Qaeda” are now commonplace. Characters like Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Mohammed Atta, Chemical Ali and Sarah Palin have been introduced. Slang words like “dirty bomb,” “safe house,” “water boarding,” “sleeper cells” and “the Green Zone” are referenced daily. We are now aware on a map where once obscure locations like Qatar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and even Guantanamo Bay are found. There are phrases such as “shock and awe” and “mission accomplished,” and of course the many new acronyms like WMDs, TSA and 9/11, to name a few. I am a father of three, and most of the words and phrases I chose to include in this work are ones my children have been hearing and learning about over the course of the past 10 years. I used a child-like, cut-and-paste technique to add to the realization that these words, phrases, places and people are as much a part of our children’s vocabulary as words like “Pearl Harbor,” “Nazis” and “POWs” are to older generations. This is one of the many profound impacts to our culture post-September 11, 2001.

Artist’s bio:

Marcus Kenney is originally from rural Louisiana and lives in Savannah, Georgia. His art has been exhibited nationally and internationally in museums and galleries and has been reviewed in Art in America, Artnews, Artpapers, The New York Times and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has had a large collection of his work published by SCAD, the Savannah College of Art and Design, of which he is an alumnus.

Seb Jarnot, untitled

Artist’s statement:

The main idea was to show the attack as a collective retinal impregnation. Ten years after, the very strong visual impact is still alive in our memories and subconscious. The raw treatment and the abstraction reflect what we all felt when it happened (scared, incomprehensible, war? against whom? …)

Artist’s bio:

Seb Jarnot is a French illustrator whose work has appeared in The Financial Times, Le Monde, Libération and other publications, as well as in major advertising campaigns for Nike, Audi and L’Oréal and others. His personal work is regularly exhibited in Europe and the United States.

Hear Seb Jarnot talk about his work on CNN

Peregrine Honig, Twins

Artist’s statement:

I woke up on September 11, 2001, dreaming about the morning’s tragedy. I was in Kansas City and I had an 8 a.m. meeting. Mark, my future husband, was sleeping off his jazz gig. I got to the cafe, and the meeting dispersed after the second tower billowed into flames on the tiny television we’d gathered around. I returned home and climbed back into bed attempting to explain to Mark what was happening. Half asleep, he rolled over and told me everything was OK. What I was saying was unbelievable. I wanted to believe him. I woke up again and turned on his radio. America felt very close and far away. My tall friend Nicole and her twin sister, Coryn, were called the “twin towers” throughout their childhood. Something we had taken for granted, two matching shapes in a cityscape, that the sky was safe, went up in smoke. My grandmother called from Eastchester later that day to tell me she was OK, and I didn’t believe her. I went to the empty tower’s space when I visited her months later and wondered if how I was feeling matched false limb syndrome. Plastic flowers and sun-bleached photographs had been stuffed into fences. These identical heads were cast in beeswax from chalkware mantlepiece heads, like “grandma” art where there is a boy and a girl facing each other. The faces are no one and everyone. I cast them at a candle factory and manipulated them while they were warm with a hairdryer and a propane pen torch. They warmed until they softened toward each other. My mother remembers the day President Kennedy was shot, and I will remember 9/11 in the same way — what I was wearing, the sweet natural smell of my partner’s sleepy head, light pouring in through the window as I attempted to forget the unforgettable.

Artist’s bio:
Born in San Francisco and raised in The Castro and in Project Artaud, Honig moved to Kansas City, Missouri, at 17 to attend the Kansas City Art Institute. At age 22, she was the youngest living artist to have work acquired by the Whitney Museum of Art’s permanent collection. Honig’s work is also collected by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. Recent solo exhibitions include “Loser” at Dwight Hackett Projects in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and “Pretty Babies” at Gescheidle Gallery in Chicago. Her work has been shown internationally with Gallery Akinci in Amsterdam and Gallery Arcaute in Monterrey, Mexico.

Ready to change your thinking?

Learn more