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Finest Hour

 Through the theatrics of his compositions, Griffiths creates modern history paintings imbued with symbolism and classical iconography. Building upon this weight of tradition in Finest Hour, the familiar image of the twenty-first-century British solder pulls the painting into a starkly contemporary context, fueled with social and political commentary. The words ‘Dulce et decorum est’ are tattooed across the soldier’s chest, taken from the deeply poignant poem by First World War poet and soldier Wilfred Owen. The painting is simultaneously a pseudo altar piece, exalting heroism and bestowing upon the soldier the status of martyr, and a subversive and satirical commentary on the nature of modern warfare. As with many of Griffiths’ paintings, the imagery presented here is charged with history and meaning that is filtered through the personal experience of each viewer.

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