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The Origin of Heroes Unmasked

I was standing in line at the movie theater and considering what to watch. We had just wrapped filming the Lionhearted documentary. For me, it was staggering that there were three movies about fictional heroes and nothing telling the story of true American heroes. It made me think about the veterans I had just finished interviewing, and, frankly, it angered me a bit. Not because millions of people will see those movies…not because those movies will make millions, but because I too would likely choose one of those movies over the true, heartbreaking reality of stories about war. I can attribute some of this to PTSD triggers, but I think it’s because I’ve always known those stories. This led me to depict classic presidential portraits as fictional heroes and villains. My hope is that people look at these and consider the connection between the two – the blend of our history with our fiction. As a talking point, name three fictional superheroes. Then name three US Presidents. Finally, name three Medal of Honor recipients.


To view the paintings visit https://www.shawnganther.com/current-work


-Shawn

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