Of War and Peace
Of War And Peace (1956)
Oil on panel
Gift of Louise H. Benton Wagner, 1978.4.3
Instruments of warfare and childhood memorabilia can be seen pinned to a door. Peeling paint on the door reveals simulated wood underneath, an effect which is redundant to the actual wooden panel Bohrod used as a support for this painting. He painted and sanded several layers of gesso to give the painting's surface a burnish comparable to glass. The use of a shallow depth of field, where the painted objects are proximately atop both the represented and presented surface of the panel, creates the illusion that the still life actually exists in space. This effect is referred to as trompe l’oeil.
Bohrod began working in trompe l’oeil after World War II, around the time American abstract painting was also rising to prominence. The artist’s uncanny “magic realism” is an expression of the psychological and existential tensions underlying a post-war condition.