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Introducing The Joe Bonham Project

by James Panero

Posted: Sep 09, 2011 01:31 PM

9/11 did not end on 9/11. For American soldiers, 9/11 has been a decade-long day. As of this summer, over 44,000 troops have been wounded in conflicts following the attacks of September 11. Over 1,300 of them have undergone partial or full amputations.

The Joe Bonham Project” represents the efforts of wartime illustrators to document the rehabilitation of these wounded warriors. Formed in early 2011 by Michael D. Fay, the Project takes its name from the central character in Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo’s 1938 novel of a World War I soldier unable to communicate with the outside world due to the extent of his wounds. Through portraiture, artists from both military and civilian life now work to ensure that today’s soldiers do not become tomorrow’s Joe Bonhams.

As the curator of The Joe Bonham Project now on view at Storefront Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn, I am pleased to connect these artists with New York's most vital artistic neighborhood. I am also proud to present their work over the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11. I invite you to see this work for yourself and get to know more about The Joe Bonham Project. The gallery will stay open this Sunday, over the 9/11 anniversary, from 1-6pm. For visiting information, click here.

 

Michael D. Fay, LCPL Tyler Huffman Points out his Entrance Wounds, 2011, graphite on paper

More information on The Project: 

Click here to read the story of Rob Bates, artist and Lance Corporal making his first trip to New York for the Bonham opening. 

Here is the amazing story of Marine Than Naing, a wounded warrior depicted by his friend Rob Bates. 

Check out Mike Corrado's amazing music video for his hit song "Still in the Fight," depicting the rehabilitation of remarkable soldiers like Kyle Carpenter and Aaron Mankin, and Joe Bonham artists creating work that now appears in The Project. 

Here is Aaron Mankin on CNN discussing his rehabilitation after an IED bombing in Iraq.

This is Michael D. Fay in The New York Times telling the story of Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter, who is recovering from a grenade explosion in Afghanistan.

Follow the family blog of Sergent Jason Ross and learn about how this specialist from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Afghanistan is recovering after losing his legs to an IED.

Here is artist Victor Juhasz telling the stories of Sgt. Joseph Dietzel, Sgt. Joshua Elliott, Sgt. Blumenberg, and Sgt. Joshua Elliott.

See what Jonathan Jones in The Guardian has to say about Mike Fay and The Joe Bonham Project.

The New York Sun just featured a great article on The Joe Bonham Project at Storefront. Thank you Franklin Einspruch for this honor and recognizing the sacrifices of our wounded warriors.

 Katarina Hybenova at Bushwick Daily has written a wonderful essay of the opening night at Storefront. Thank you for this thoughtful piece.

National Review features a pitch-perfect article by Patrick Brennan on "Joe Bonham Project in Brooklyn: A Worthy Tribute"

Roger L. Simon gets the word out about Bonham on Pajamas Media 

Sharon Butler has some interesting thoughts about the role of art versus illustration at Hyperallergic.  

James Kalm Reports: A "Rough Cut" tour of The Joe Bonham Project by curator James Panero. 

James Kalm leads off his column "Brooklyn Dispatches" for The Brooklyn Rail with a meditation on The Joe Bonham Project and the effects of ten years of war.  

Here are pictures from the opening night of The Joe Bonham Project--Thursday, September 1, 2011, at Storefront Gallery. Photos by Jason Andrew and James Panero. Thank you artists Rob Bates, Mike Fay, Jeff Fisher, Roman Genn, Bill Harris, Richard Johnson, Amber Martin, and Victor Juhasz for allowing me to introduce Bushwick to your art. Thank you Bushwick and everyone else for coming out to support the Project. And thank you Debbie Brown and Jason Andrew for giving me the opportunity to present this exhibition at Storefront Gallery.

The Joe Bonham Project will remain on view at Storefront, 16 Wilson Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn, through September 18, 2011

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