Ella Rue

Steve Brodner: Joker (Red)

I have been working as a satirical artist, illustrator, caricaturist, journalist, teacher, lecturer for over 40 years. My work almost exclusively concerns itself with commentary in response to news of wars, conflicts, human disasters. The subject of how we treat our servicemen and women is a vitally important one. But how war is sold to young men and women and what they end up sacrificing as a result is, I feel, a very unfair deal. Only when it is too late, when the flags and bands and ribbons are swept away that they see the truth of it; what war truly is. And the price we all pay. As artists it is our job to tell the truth with clarity and conviction to the best of our ability. It is our job, in this case, to honor the sacrifice while also standing up against the injustices done to our young soldiers who get thrown into the pits of hell every time politicians lack the necessary creativity to avoid war. I believe supporting the troops means more than just giving them meals and meds (which, at times, they have not been given). It is also supporting them against a rising tide of bullshit. Lies, disinformation and disrespect are our greatest enemies as a society. We all need to unite against those as one nation. And only do war when absolutely necessary, and as declared by Congress.

My great thanks to Ella Rue and all the artists for creating this remarkable project. I am deeply honored to have been asked to participate. My piece is a small protest art piece against the way the Veterans Administration has been run. There has been much suffering as a result of the bureaucratic chaos and underfunding that has hit the VA. So my piece shows a wounded veteran depending on the VA for support, and all he can find on his laptop under the VA is a big picture of a Joker.

Steve Brodner's Website