Croix Gammées pour La Paix
This is a series of paintings of real swastikas from around the world since prehistory. Omitting the infamous Nazi “hakenkreuz,” the project aims to reclaim the swastika for the sake of its ancient, universal origins, deep cultural significance, aesthetic value, and traditional meanings of reverence, prosperity, and optimism. The paintings are a plea to forgive rather than to forget. To see the swastika (in its many forms) anew for its potential to represent a global, intercultural pursuit of unity, understanding, peace, and appreciation.
“Croix Gammées pour La Paix” means “Swastikas for Peace.” The French titling and checkerboard composition pay homage to the painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky. Kandinsky, whose work was branded “degenerate” by the Nazi regime, fled Berlin to live out the rest of his life in Paris. There he painted “Trente,” the visual inspiration for “Seize,” “Vingt,” and “Quarante-Huit.” Kandinsky’s career was a passionate pursuit of universal spiritual symbolism through abstract art. Considering the time and place, it would have been difficult for him to see that the swastika may have been the very symbol he was looking for all along.