Mher Khachatryan has paid tribute to victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack in America with a stunning oil painting. Created in his signature smoke style, the stunning painting by the Smoke Artist highlights the horror and destruction of the sad events while also showcasing the bravery and sacrifices made by the first responders and other emergency services.
On the 11th of September 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda organized a series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks against targets in the United States.
Khachatryan who was only 17 years old at the time, recalls how his heart was filled with so much anger and hurt as he could not understand how humans could perpetrate such evil against their fellow humans. As he grew up and became a father and husband, Mher’s perspective changed and he began to understand that compassion was a far greater and more effective answer than anger.
Over the following years, Mher dreamed of transforming the 9/11 incident into a painting but couldn’t because he always felt like something was missing. But after visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Smoke Artist finally discovered the missing link and was inspired to bring his work to life.
“The video recordings, the audio recordings, the kids you know, leaving messages to their parents, husbands, and wives they’re leaving messages… I couldn’t actually stay to see the whole thing, it was just very overwhelming,” he said. “I didn’t have that spark in me until I visited.”
Putting his entire being into the canvas, Mher Khachatryan was able to complete the painting after a year of working on the project. His painting subtly shows the exact times the two planes hit the Twin Towers and pays tribute to the victims by representing each with 2,977 candles.