Ben Shahn & a Woman

558. Ben Shahn & a Woman Watercolor Painting by Mariko Irie

558. Ben Shahn & a Woman Watercolor Painting by Mariko Irie

This scene is in San Diego Art Museum in Balboa Park.

They do excellent shows and have great collections.


I love Ben Shahn’s ink drawing since when I was an Art University student.

And I had never seen his original paintings till I saw this painting at the museum. What I had seen were cover of books or posters. I was so fascinated his lines and interesting images.

Ben Shahn Poster

After I painted this painting “ Ben Shahn & a Woman”, I wanted to know about him. So I searched in Internet.

I found that he was very involved politics as a human being.

This YouTube is a good one to watch getting know him.

Art as Activism: The Compelling Paintings of Ben Shahn

He also did a series, called Lucky Dragon, about the Daigo Fukuryū Maru (literally, Lucky Dragon No. 5), the Japanese fishing boat caught in the Bikini Atoll hydrogen bomb blast.

As of 2012, an important part of this series is in the collections of Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art

But after the Tsunami / Nuclear Power Plants accidents in 2011, they decided not show the painting, because the painting is too grotesque.

And American Museums refused to send Ben Shahn’s paintings to this museum’s Exhibition, because they are afraid paintings might get damage from polluted air from the Nuclear Power Plants accident.


After I looked at his works I realized that I have never seen his paintings before besides the one I painted.

I love this painting “Ben shahn & a Woman”. The way came out is just right. The lady who is looking at the painting is just right there, don’t you think?



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