I painted this work after watching a documentary on the destruction of the giant Buddhas of Bamyan (in Afghanistan) by the Taliban in 2001.

The Buddha head is set against the broken background but still has a look of peacefulness. A lovely flower is connected to Buddha’s third eye with a graceful tether that transcends the ruin and represents the higher ideal that Buddha stands for.

The destruction of these beautiful giant Buddhas was a great loss to all of humanity, but I’m sure that the Spirit of Buddha forgives this ignorant act.

(A further note – this was done with an old wood frame and piece of masonite both rescued from the trash. Seemed like an appropriate gesture of beauty rising from what somebody considered to be junk.)
Featured in:
Core – Feb. 2009


  • MoonSpiral
    MoonSpiralalmost 6 years ago

    I remember feeling complete disbelief when I heard the Buddhas were destroyed. This a beautiful way of keeping those great Buddhas alive. Awesome piece!

  • Thanks MoonSpiral. I also painted this piece on an old masonite board glued inside an old frame, both which I rescued from a trash can. Seemed appropriate to use reclaimed material that someone else saw fit to throw away to make this painting. (Love symbolism!)

    – Colleen D. Gjefle

  • Alexandra Felgate
    Alexandra Felgatealmost 6 years ago

    This is stunning work, and a wonderful way to keep these Buddha’s “alive”. Truly fabulous.

  • Thank you – I am indeed trying to keep them alive. Wish I could have seen them in person.

    – Colleen D. Gjefle

  • Ushna Sardar
    Ushna Sardaralmost 6 years ago

  • JRobinWhitley
    JRobinWhitleyover 5 years ago

    Excellent painting!

  • lotuskat
    lotuskatover 3 years ago

    this is beautiful – perhaps you have seen the great documentary made about the Giant Buddhas and the archaeologists who are searching for one of the statues that did not get destroyed because it is underground! Well, all is impermanent but nothing can destroy the spirit.

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