One automatically thinks of photography as the media of choice for the rendition of human suffering.
But however harrowing photography can be, the dead, the wounded, the deported, the suffering remains viewed from a distance, almost in a voyeuristic way. The painting of the same atrocities, of the body modified, martyred, humiliated and annihilated, doesn’t “show” reality but traces the unfolding of a physical and emotional process. The painting will imagine and distort reality in order to create a sense of immediacy rather than rely of objectivity.
The bodies on the canvas become ours; we suffer from their wounds and afflictions as much as we have inflicted them.