Lad Decker

Conflict of Interest

#WarStudies #Conflict #MilitaryHistory

These paintings were developed over the last three years. They come from a larger body of work that started in response to the American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that began in 2001-2003 and that continue today. It was the Vietnam War that marked my childhood memories most. Since seeing the photographs and films from journalists posted in Vietnam, I’ve been interested in war photography and in understanding the causes of war and social conflict. 

This work is a visual synthesis of the observations and experience of living in a time of war. The elements of war and the machines of war are both real and symbolic. We build things that reflect our own nature, and that enable us to extend our nature out in to the world. This project is divided into sections based on the different elements of conflict including helicopters, tanks, and fields. 

I am not advocating war. I'm acknowledging that it exists, that we fight, we debate, and we posture for positions of power. I don’t have easy answers for how to prevent war. I paint to understand and to reflect on the consequences of our actions. I want more awareness, more critical thinking, and more dialogue about the past, the present, and the future. 

- Lad Decker



Inside the studio

Instagram / @lad.decker




Looking at war and conflict

Take a peek inside the studio and hear how helicopters began to appear in the paintings.


Featured projects





Red Field


Selected works