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Realistic Paintings of Innocence Inspired by WWII

After both of his grandfathers passed away in 2010, mere months apart, artist Michael Peck decided to look into their little-known history as men who served in World War II. The Melbourne-based painter uses his signature monochromatic palette to create realistic oil paintings on linen of children playing with WWII equipment. The series entitled The Landing explores Peck's grandfathers' war-torn era through childlike wonderment.

Peck remembers talking to his grandfathers and their reluctance to recount the memory of these hards times. In his artwork, he adorns his innocent subjects in fighter pilot uniforms and blindfolds, making a reflective statement about his lack of knowledge on that period in history. The series is also heavily inspired by a story one of his grandfathers told him about a plane crashing in London where a group of children crowded around to play, as though the wreckage were a playground. This image stuck with the painter and resonated with his desire to understand that generation. As a result, Peck has created a remarkable series where warfare and trauma meet the beauty of innocence.

Michael Peck's website


Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at major TV, film, and publishing companies as well as other independent media businesses. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies, reading, crafting, drawing, and volunteering at her local animal shelter.
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