Why children commit suicide... read next month's issueArtist(s)Sir Eduardo PaolozziArtist NationalityBritish (modern)Object Creation Date1965-1970Medium & Supportphotolithograph on paperDimensions
14 15/16 in x 10 in (38 cm x 25.4 cm)Credit LineGift of Professor Diane M. KirkpatrickSubject matter
Like many of his contemporaries, Paolozzi used new printing techniques as a way to engage with modern mass media's new visual culture. At the same time, the photomechanical process made the work look mechanically manufactured rather than hand-made, in the traditional artistic sense. Therefore when he modified, transformed, and assembled the source image(s), the medium would allow for a more uniform final image.
This print is one of a large series of 50 prints included in the 1970 portfolio, which was a second edition of an earlier group of slightly-larger prints titled "Moonstrips Empire News." While the first series was strictly produced as screenprints, this second series "General Dynamic F.U.N." includes works of photolithography, like this print. The themes seen in this portfolio are different in style and subject matter from other Pop works of the period, but engage with the images of a modern mass media, looking beyond just advertising and publicity images. Likewise, the title of the portfolio alludes to the General Dynamics Corporation, who was the manufacturer of the F-111 fighter used during the Vietnam War—the same one referenced in James Rosenquist monumental painting "F-111."
This satirical print is much darker than many of the others in the series, taking the image of the cute, innocent children and mapping on a story of child suicide. Overall, the happy images in the print seem normal, yet the blue highlighted eyes of the teddy bear ominously watch over the two children below. Combined with the overt artificiality of the dessert at the bottom and the pleasurable imagery at the top, the title of the work plays off of the sensationalizing stories in glossy magazines of the time. Physical Description
This photolithograph is printed in bright neon blue, pale pink and brown and depicts three main scenes. The first register at the top is a photo collage of an electronics store, a teddy bear, and a furry dog with a shoe in its mouth. Below, there is a cut-out image of two children, smiling and hugging: only their heads are visible. The bottom register shows an ice cream cake covered in fruit and toppings on a oval platter with a doily. The print is signed and dated at the bottom right.Primary Object ClassificationPrintCollection AreaModern and ContemporaryRights
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Canis familiaris (species)
Pop (fine arts styles)
children (people by age group)