Part of My War1989
45" x 48", oil on masonite
During the last few years of his life, Safran began a series of autobiographical works. The paintings of the series are deeply textured and richly colored, relying on numerous images superimposed and overlapped to create a dense visual tapestry depicting a part of the artist's life. Part of My War was the first painting in the series.
From 1942 to 1945 Safran served with the US Army Engineer Corps in China, India and Burma (now Myanmar), building airstrips and occasionally flying over "the Hump" - the supply route from India to China that passed over the eastern Himalayas. The war was a horrifying experience, but as for many men of his generation it was one of the defining and most memorable periods of his life. He took photos of many of the people and places he visited, and sketched many of his friends while in service. This painting pulls together some of the more colorful experiences he had during that time.