War Artist

by Anand Katakam

Patrick Dillon, 63, is among the 31 percent of Vietnam veterans suffering from the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He’s one of the few that channels that trauma into his artwork. In order to help with the healing process, Dillon produces extremely violent and graphic art, which often relates to Agent Orange. Many of the art pieces are called children of chemical warfare. Dillon, who has suffered from mental health problems, spent time at the Montrose Mental health medical center for years after his time in Vietnam. Working in his Harlem studio, Dillon uses his art to self-soothe.

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3 Responses to "War Artist"

  1. Lionell Delevingne  February 26, 2014 at 10:40 am

    A sensitive portrait of Mr. Dillon, the man and the artist and a path to understanding PTSD, which the many veterans and families among us grapple with.
    Keep up the good work !

    Reply
  2. Fred Tomasello Jr.  April 29, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Thank you for showcasing the work of Patrick Dillon. May people who see his art attain enlightenment and begin to question the myth that war and violence are honorable, heroic and patriotic.

    Reply
  3. Nanri  August 22, 2016 at 11:40 am

    I was in a group with Patrick Dillon last week at Omega at a Mindfulness as Medicine workshop. This retreat given by Vietnamese nuns from the Plum Village Sangha of the venerable teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. I witnessed a declaration from Patrick to the group asking for forgiveness for the atrocities he had done in Vietnam. He was forgiven and then was given a heartfelt a hug from a nun who had been a “boat person” and lived for years in a refugee camp. It was a meditative “stop and look deeply moment” that shifted the world a step towards inner peace and reconciliation. Grateful for for the bravery of the two bridge makers!

    Reply

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