Amidst his collection of guitars and photos with celebrities, one picture in particular stands out in the home of artist Michael Godard.
The photo, hanging in Godard’s kitchen, shows a young soldier with a piece of damaged artillery. The soldier spray-painted an olive on a section of the machinery and wrote “Godard” on it. The artist says he keeps the picture in a prominent spot to remind him of what his artwork is all about.
“That kid is somebody’s son, or he’s somebody’s brother, and I think about the high state of anxiety he is in,” he says. “Then I thought how wonderful it is that I can give him a little break from that, and for that brief moment, he isn’t thinking about the task at hand and how scary life is, but he is thinking about how much fun he is having talking about this artist.”
After receiving that photo, Godard showed his appreciation by sending Godard-themed dog tags and calendars to the soldier and his entire division.
“I try to support the military in every way that I can because I think that without them we wouldn’t be here in this great country and I wouldn’t be able to do what I do and enjoy it,” he says.
A number of Godard paintings reflect his appreciation for those who serve in the military. Both his father and uncle served in Vietnam, and he recalls how they were embarrassed to wear their uniforms after the war. To prevent this from happening to current and future veterans, Godard recognizes the brave men and women who have served. He actively supports causes such as Wounded Warrior Project and Fallen Heroes.
Godard will admit that there are other artists who paint better than he can, but believes that he was given his gift because God knew he would do something that counted. He will continue to do so as well, with Park West Gallery backing him all the way.
“Park West has supported all my charity work and said ‘anything you want to do we’re going to support you 100 percent,’ and I think that is absolutely amazing,” Godard says.
View the artwork of Godard in the “Lights, Camera, Olives!” exhibition, available until November 18.