Local photographer Christopher Oshana
Local photographer pulls back the curtain of those suffering from PTSD.
By Nicole Royse
Local photographic artist Christopher Oshana’s work is raw, emotional, and moving. His imagery ranges from the majestic Arizona landscape, to rustic still lifes and captivating portraits that offer a glimpse into his subject’s psyche, as well as his own military past.
A retired 20-year Navy veteran, Oshana’s interest in photography blossomed during his high seas travels with the military. He was especially drawn to the beauty of the Mediterranean. “I started taking photographs during my first deployment in the service in 1985,” says Oshana. But, it wasn’t until 2006 that he decided to pursue his passion on a larger scale. “After I retired from service to our country I picked up the camera again, and it was a photo of one of my twin daughters that reignited the passion,” he says.
Since then, a majority of Oshana’s work has focused on giving veterans who have been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) a voice. Oshana’s work pulls back the curtain of those suffering from PTSD and offers an unvarnished view into the private lives of a few of our country’s brave veterans. His photos allow veterans to open up about their struggles and capture the pain lying just beneath the surface. “As I spoke extensively with each veteran, learning their stories, I captured a pure image that related to the sacrifice and suffering they endure,” says Oshana, whose captivating body of work includes several photographs that offer a stark and unsettling reminder of the horrors that the nation’s young soldiers endure.
Oshana’s work has received several awards and honors including the Maricopa County Community College District Artist of Promise in 2011, the Western Eye Photography Competition 2012, and in 2013 he was granted a workspace and an internship with Wayne Rainey at the monOrchid Gallery and Rainey Studios. He recently exhibited his artwork at the monOrchid in June of this year in honor of PTSD month.
Oshana continues to be an advocate for those suffering from PTSD, while working for the Department of Defense and continuing his photographic journey by pursuing an AAS in digital photography from Phoenix College. To learn more about Oshana, visit vermontboats.wix.com/oshanadp and facebook.com/oshanadp.
Phoenix Art Museum
This fall head to the Phoenix Art Museum to see American and European Art from the 1920s and 1930s highlighting pieces from the museum’s collection from the Roaring ’20s through the Depression into the beginnings of the second World War. Also on view is Masterworks of Spanish Colonial Art from Phoenix Art Museum’s Collection featuring fascinating Spanish colonial artworks created in the 17th and 18th centuries that were recently acquired by the Phoenix Art Museum. Finally, don’t miss the much anticipated Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold, which showcases the 12 recreated bronze sculptures of Chinese zodiac creatures that once graced an elaborate Qing dynasty fountain in Yuanmingyuan, an 18th century imperial retreat outside Beijing designed by two European Jesuits, which was looted during in the Second Opium War in 1860. Also part of the exhibition is a video about the artist and 18th-century Chinese bronze works from the Phoenix Art Museum’s collection. For more information about the Phoenix Art Museum and upcoming events, visit phxart.org.
Phoenix Art Museum
1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
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