James Kalm returns to The Joe Bonham Project after his filing his Rough Cuts report with a humbling essay in The Brooklyn Rail on the exhibition and the effects of ten years of war:
It’s a delicate and discomforting aesthetic area encountered with these works, and I accept the notion expressed by curator Panero, and Project founder Fay, that the show had no intentional “political” agenda. Yet within the hyper-partisan New York art scene, any hint of “patriotism,” “nationalism,” or sympathy for the U.S. military could, in the past, rain down a screaming chorus of derision. The fact that the “Joe Bonham Project” has escaped this kind of criticism may be due to the passing of a generation, or to a community evolving a more rational view, in the aftermath of New York suffering the worst attack on American soil, of the world and its dangers. I think it also bears testament to the success of this exhibition, and to our natural, empathic identification with those heroes who chose to follow the call that few have the courage to answer. The show’s therapeutic value extends not only to the injured Marines and the artists, but to viewers dealing with ten long years of war.
Read the entire essay here.