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The technical difficulty, advanced skill level, complex detail, intelligent composition, continuous painting production and education (Trained in art privately, independently and academically since early childhood. Completed B.A. Psychology with highest honors, pursuing M.A. Studio Art), talent of  Marta Sytniewski and her work, and scarcity of similar art, combine to valuate Marta Sytniewski's oil paintings as especially lucrative assets with positive and fast-paced projected investment growth.

 

This painting features informative, educational and socially constructive content that identifies Marta Sytniewski’s independent Significant Art Theory

 

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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TORTURE

"The Psychology of Torture"

Marta Sytniewski

Oil, acrylic, wood and soilon five canvases,

44" x 152"

100% original, 100% handmade

COPYRIGHT©Marta Sytniewski 2011.

 

PAINTING DESCRIPTION:

 

This painting begins with a vulnerable man calling for help. Instead of helping him, a Police Officer is running up to beat him with a flashlight. The common fate in our law enforcement is that they are there to serve and protect us in our time of need. When Chicago Police forced confessions, this trust was broken. This painting is intended to encourage a reconstruction of our justice system. Repetitive reinforcement of the police’s mission “To Serve and Protect” and a powerful expression of its failure in this painting are intended to stimulate careful action and consideration for the accused. This painting Transitions with a graph of “US incrimination rates by race” and a map of “Violent crimes by neighborhood” in Chicago. This addresses the social and political conditions that made torture possible in Chicago. These are factors that contributed to the formation of the “guilty criminal” schema in which the officers believed. Errors in reasoning that support rationalization for dehumanization of torture victims are often over generalized from experience and self-justified with scientific data. Economic and social gains within the structure of the Police Department may further reinforce the practice of forcing confessions.

 

In the middle canvas, the tortured man is dehumanized by his oppressors. The police though they were doing the right thing while they perceived the victim as less-than-human. Above the victim appears an infant toward whom the torture is redirected. While it is easy to attribute guilt to someone who appears strong, tall, male, tattooed or muscular, it is much more difficult to project this opinion toward a helpless child. This painting constitutes my attempt to reverse dehumanization by re-attributing the characteristics of innocence and helplessness back to the victim, and thus, crush the police officer’s guilty criminal person-schema. In the middle canvas, the first officer is following orders. Under the faulted pretense of serving humanity, the officers did not question the appropriateness and consequences of their commander’s orders. This Agentic state led to diffusion of responsibility in the police department when the perception of personal accountability was shifted from the “self” to the one who gave orders.

 

The second man in the middle painting is taking pleasure in his actions. This constitutes reference to Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge calling this interrogation as “fun time”. Experienced pleasure in humiliation and physical abuse of a victim suggests that the oppressor feels powerless in other facets of his life. When the torture embodies a sexual nature, such as the electric shocks inflicted upon the Chicago police victims, the pleasure-experiencing oppressor may be incompetent. The third man in the middle canvas represents “shades of gray”, because no person is only good or bad. While this Officer is looking for approval to his commander, he is simultaneously sending a text message stating “help” to the press. After the realization of one’s actions they oppressors may feel a need to save face and to recompense for their wrongdoings through socially constructive action. This figure is intended to encourage officers involved in Chicago Police Torture to relieve their conscience by coming forward, confessing and thus and joining the struggle to fight injustice.

 

The second transition displays a news article with the title of this painting: The Psychology of Torture. This is to honor reporters and activists such as John Conroy, and truth-seeking publications including Chicago Tribune and Chicago Reader. Above appear symbols that refer to community and professional organizations that fought to bring the truth to light. These include attorneys, human right organizations, scientists, community organizations, spiritual groups as well as families and loved ones affected by torture. These symbols lead to a Police Officer who is fighting for the wellbeing of those oppressed by the criminal justice system. He is holding up the (now freed) victim with slight happiness and care, because some justice has been attained through many years of struggle. This part is intended to restores the public’s fate in justice as well as a feeling of security and hope toward a better future, because at last, the truth has come to light.