John J. Mahyo; After Xmas (War Will Be Over)

From Italy we find that stencil street artist John J. Mahyo paid tribute last month on the anniversary of John Lennon’s murder to his anti-war past. Lennon’s song with Yoko Ono  “Happy Xmas (War is Over) is re-interpreted here with a stencil called “After Xmas (War Will Be Over)”.


John J. Mahyo “After Xmas (War Will Be Over)” Photo © John J. Mahyo

We contacted the stencil artist to get an understanding of the piece and it’s placement on the wall of a military zone. He discussed how the original song was a protest against the war in Vietnam and now 40 years later it looks like history has repeated itself as we are told that the 9 year war in Afghanistan must continue 2,3,4,5 more years. And he worries about other potential conflicts brewing on the world stage. He says he intended this piece as “a call to prevent the imminent threat of a hypothetical nuclear war, if the tests carried out by North Korea (the 9th country in the world to have the atomic bomb and the 3rd most militarized) go wrong, it could potentially have disastrous consequences.”

Today, with a multitude of electronic images flying at people from every screen, a simple hand made stencil seems “retro” and tied to that earlier age – and a reminder that every person reading this was born into an age of war that never seems to end. Says Mahyo, it’s “The same old story… Men who hate other men, who face each other in a game of dominoes with weapons of mass destruction instead of the common cards. The wars of any size only bring destruction, sadness and anger. So to avoid this, I wish you all a happy New Year of peace and love, and hope that others will come.”

brooklyn-street-art-john-lennon-webJohn Lennon listens to the streets in this photo attributed to Yoko Ono on