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Sex Crime Wave Rolling High

Accession Number
2000/2.14.14

Title
Sex Crime Wave Rolling High

Artist(s)
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi

Artist Nationality
British (modern)

Object Creation Date
1965-1970

Medium & Support
screenprint on paper

Dimensions
14 15/16 in x 10 in (38 cm x 25.4 cm);14 15/16 in x 20 in (38 cm x 50.8 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Professor Diane M. Kirkpatrick

Subject matter
Like many of his contemporaries, Paolozzi used screenprinting 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 hand made, in the traditional artistic sense. Therefore after 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. 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."

In this print, Paolozzi brings together the use of sex in advertising and the technology of the atomic age in this satirical look at American culture. The advertising image of the girl in the bikini and the phallic imagery of the warhead and rocket combine with the title to reference the Cold War polemics created in the United States—a war crime perpetrated by weapons that look like sexual organs. Politics and advertising go hand-in-hand in this image.

Physical Description
This is a horizontally-oriented print in multiple colors. To one side, there is a photo of a woman in a red bikini laying on the top of a blue car, a scene from a missile lab with a red warhead at the center and lab-coated men standing around, and a block with a series of colored squares, resembling a color test printing. On the other side, from the center to the edge, there is a large and colorful switchboard with red and black wires hanging from it, a narrow image of a rocket in flight, and another equally-sized, narrow image of clouds. 

Primary Object Classification
Print

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Pop (fine arts styles)
automobiles
bikinis (bathing suits)
cumulus clouds
missiles (weapons)
photolithographs
screen prints
switchboards
women (female humans)

3 Related Resources

History of New Media 
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Satire
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved