Ex-voto – Anti-war Art

Ex-voto – Anti-war Art


1 in stock

The price is £500 or highest offer. All proceeds from the sale of this painting go to MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders).

Size: 80 x 100 cm
Materials: oil on canvas
Date: 2022

1 in stock

SKU: MP00541 Categories: , Tags: ,


I’m so deeply saddened about what is happening to the people in Ukraine. I needed to focus my feelings into something, so I poured my emotions into this oil painting and let my imagination flow. My painting is larger than a traditional ex-voto because I didn’t know what I was going to paint. I wanted to make a statement and work large and ended up illustrating my wish to see the end of all wars.


The Mother

Her body takes up a huge part of the painting, whilst blending into the background. It is she who is the giver of life, it is she whom war hurts the most.

The soldier

He sits (weak and tired) inside a doorway, which opens out from his mother’s pregnant belly. A city burns inside her in the background. The reality of hero worship is dawning upon him, as he realises how futile playing his part is.

The weapons

They are insignificant in size and are exiting the scene.

The saint

He is rich, old and white. He has his back turned to us. He is taking a piss and not giving a shit. For me, organised religion is just a business. War is ultimately about money and an open suitcase of notes float off in the breeze to signify how easily power is lost.

The sacred heart

This represents Jesus’ heart. I don’t know why I hardly changed this symbol, maybe because I’m not intelligent enough to be an atheist.

The banner

Originally I wrote the word HOPE but I wasn’t feeling very hopeful, so I changed it to NOPE, as in, “No to war!”

Ex-voto history

Traditionally ex-voto’s are folk art usually from the Christian faith, that depict daily life. The ex-voto is made as an act of devotion, like when you are in grief and bargain with God. They are made after the person’s prayer has been granted and the person in question recovers from the accident or illness. Small paintings, amulets and other offerings are usually placed at a destination of pilgrimage, a significant church or a shrine. Ex-voto offerings began to appear in Spain and Italy during the late 15th century and in the 16th century, in Mexico.

Anti-war sentiment

Thermobaric weapons were developed in the 1960’s by the US and USSR. According to a CIA study, victims suffer for several seconds or even minutes, while they suffocate to death after the blast. They have been used in Vietnam, Lebanon, America, Bali, Chechnya, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine. All past attempts to regulate or restrict thermobaric weapons have failed.

Wars begin and end with negotiation, what happens in the middle is unnecessary.

Additional information

Weight5 kg
Dimensions120 × 100 × 10 cm


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