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The Sitters (Operation Crossroads), 1987,  was a series of five paintings that I completed in 1987. In 2007, I was asked to install the 5 paintings in the Library of Mount Saint Vincent College in Riverdale , New York, where it is still part of the permanent collection.

The series was based on an archival photograph, which someone had given me because at the time I was interested in what is commonly known as the Adirondack Chair. It documented the V. I. P. section of Scientists and Top Brass watching the first atomic explosion at the Bikini Atoll.

What I immediately realized is that the group photograph showed the quintessential pose and attitude of Americans; they where first and foremost “watchers”, “sitters” or what would later be called “coach potatoes”. They did not feel the need to protect themselves except for the goggles they wore as if they were impervious to any fall out from radiation. (Many sailors stationed there were later to contract cancer.) The islanders where resettled, A Sacrifice Zone was declared and the tests were conducted.

I first employed a technique that I still use today; isolating individuals from the group and creating a “primitive” background that I hoped would suggest the ambiance of the scene. It seemed to me that each isolated figure was an archetype of contemporary men; The jock, the working class hero, the father figure, the go-getter, the professor. Each isolated with their own thoughts as they witness destruction.85070b8cd3993fe40af4c532d398dce7 copy.jpg

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