The Massacre triptych witnesses a full circle of violent events marking Lebanon’s history over 20 years, uniting different periods of Karam’s sketches into one work. In 2008, Karam began drawing sketches he had made in 1990 onto three large canvases. These sketches had been produced in spontaneous reaction to the 1990 assassination of Lebanese statesman Chamoun and his family, but they were also, after 15 years of the Lebanese civil war, a reaction to the ugliness, destruction and sadness he had witnessed as well as his own experiences of being shot at and kidnapped. When violence returned with the war of 2006 and a series of assassinations of Lebanese democratic leaders from 2005-2008, The Massacre became the closing chapter for the hundreds of war sketches that Karam produced during this period.
The work itself features the 1990 sketches floating in a black inferno, a torrential maelstrom of rockets, planes, explosions and smoke. Three tiny Archaic Procession figures, the Couple, the Elephant and the Wild Cat, are powerless witnesses in the storm that has been unleashed around them.