More Crossroads paintings: atomic bomb tests
Well, I still wake up at night thinking about how those thousands of American seamen must have felt watching that huge radioactive cloud expand to envelop their ships. And so I continue to paint more Crossroads paintings.
I saw the archival footage just twice of the 1946 atomic tests, but there was no escaping the awesome power and horror. There are no words… all I can do is to try and paint it again and again.
The experience is so different from seeing those beautiful color pictures of the mushroom cloud in Life Magazine. There the image was static, unmoving. Here, you watch as it happens, as the blinding flash erupts right in the middle of the ships, as the column and mushroom cloud form and then slowly start to fall and disintegrate, forming a new radioactive cloud at the ocean level that inexorably envelops every last ship. The horror of those images is indescribable.
Crossroads V is the most representational of the paintings I’ve done so far. You can see the central column still rising even while the mushroom cloud has started to fall and the newer radioactive cloud at the base is just forming.
The ships were huge, yet so tiny against that ultimate maelstrom engulfing them.