Nancy Spero

Nancy Spero
1926-2009
Male Bomb II
1966
Gouache and brush and ink on paper.
34 x 27 inches (86.4 x 68.6 cm)
Gift of the Modern and Contemporary Collectors Committee.
© Nancy Spero / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
2014.22
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Signed lower right.

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This drawing belongs to The War Series: Bombs and Helicopters (1966-71), prompted by Spero's anger at the involvement of the United States in Vietnam. In her metaphoric depiction of war, she transformed the male body into a lethal weapon, linking sexuality and military power. Spero said: "I wanted to [be] as shocking as possible, and the way that I could be most shocking, because it so upset people, was through sexuality...I used bloody colors, and literally a lot of spit with gouache paint...Even though they seem so delicate, they are violent." The multiheaded figure was inspired by medieval apocalyptic imagery.

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