I am currently working on a series of paintings inspired by my research into the Holocaust. Since 2008, I have been studying the Holocaust, learning as much as I can. I have traveled to Auschwitz and Sobibor. I have spoken with survivors. I have read their memoirs and their histories. Sometimes making art is the only way I can deal with everything I am learning.

I call the series Stupid Kindness. It’s from a passage in the amazing book by Vasily Grossman: Life and Fate. Here is one quote:

“This kindness, this stupid kindness, is what is most truly human in a human being. It is what sets man apart, the highest achievement of his soul. No, it says, life is not evil!

This kindness is both senseless and wordless. It is instinctive, blind…Kindness is powerful only while it is powerless. If Man tries to give it power, it dims, fades away, loses itself, vanishes.”

You can view the work here: After Babi Yar | Connecting Memories | Interrogation


by Kamran Ashtary

Connecting Memories

Painting detail From the series, Stupid Kindness

After Babi Yar

The Dying Pray for the Dead, by Kamran Ashtary