“The Seduction of War”
60hx36w, pastel on papers
This piece was inspired by the cause for war in Iraq and a song by Blondie called, “Atomic”. It is a drawing on multiple papers using pastel and color pencil. For this project I had started out with a smaller drawing which was more of a “war for oil” piece. I felt that the smaller drawing (36hx24w) was really busy and I needed to focus more on the body and words in the dress.
I decided to make the drawing 60 inches high and used toned multiple pieces of a paper I was familiar with instead of getting a larger single piece. I also liked the idea of having a grid-like separation of the image. The pieces are glued onto black museum board.
Let’s start from the top. Her exploding atom bomb hairdo is inspired by the lyrics of “Atomic” by Jimmy Destri and Debbie Harry. I thought the song was either about a seduction or a mad scientist making a bomb. In any case, some one or some explosive thing has “beautiful hair”. If this piece had a soundtrack, “Atomic” would be the song.
Her skin is a cold blue and her red eyes and smile are cruel. She was disturbing to create and her accessories are scary. To top off her “doo” she wears an “Atomic” tiara. Her big gold “M” necklace and tattoos read WMD. Her long red gloves say, “Veni, Vidi, Vici” – Julius Caesar’s coined phrase – “I came, I saw, I conquered”.
I borrowed a dress from Marilyn Monroe , a blonde bombshell. The weapons of mass destruction are in the folds of her dress. The skirt is like an explosion in itself, revealing a chess game in her stockings and “trump card” – the king of hearts, the suicide king.
While creating this piece I checked out Hiroshima, by John Hersey, from my local library. I intended to use the reference image of the mushroom cloud for my drawing, but soon I began to read the accounts of six survivors of the atomic bomb. It tells their stories with much grace. I recommend reading it.
She was exhibited in “Artists Look at Human Rights”, sponsored by the United Nations Association of Santa Cruz and in “Red” at the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto curated by George Rivera.
“The Seduction of War” is currently contained in a big yellow frame behind plexiglass …only, I don’t think it’s enough to restrain her.