Artist's Note: I created "The Summer Before The War" series during the summer of 2002, when it became apparent that George W. Bush was "hell bent" on war with Iraq.
As I travelled through America that summer and fall, I was frequently struck by the almost etherial, out-of-time beauty that I encountered from the shores of the Pacific to the high mountains of the West. It was as if there was a rare, quivering poignancy in the air as America's corporate-controlled mass media and its Christian, dumb-think President ("Stupid President - Stupid War") were beating the drums of war up to a frenzied pitch.
At the time, it made me think of stories I'd heard from my parents of the summer of 1942 -- and seen depicted in the film The Summer of '42 -- a halcyon, almost innocent time before the world forever changed. So here's a look back at America as it was in the summer of 2002, "The Summer Before The War."
-- Bruce Brown
July 4, 2008
P.S. On a technical note, the images in this series began as photographs, were rendered with a combination of artistic brushes in Photoshop 5, and finally hand painted with a Wacom Intuos stylus. Regarding digital painting, see Catalog of Bruce Brown Retrospective (2003).