Artjournalism

Bruce Conner, the greatest artist you don't know, uses our Peter Byrne for image-honing purposes. We use Conner to get you to pick up the paper.

It is this terrible beauty that distinguishes Conner from millionaire pop artists such as Warhol, Jeff Koons, or Keith Haring. Even as Warhol was gently enshrining soup cans and celebrities, Conner was scandalizing the public with representations of sad, forlorn, murdered figures, that appear to be, it must be said, archetypal representations of Conner himself.

Who, to this day, lives in fear (or is it anticipation?) of incineration.

"There used to be much more fear about the bomb," he told me during one of our interviews at his extremely orderly Glen Park home. "Now it's a part of daily life. Atomic weapons can be made by a couple of fairly intelligent people. Anyone could dump a bomb in the bay and -- POOF! -- it'll look like hell everywhere, and no one will know who did it. Say the Chinese do it and blame it on the Iraqis -- soon everybody will be killing everybody, and the people who started it all, and thought they were going to survive, will find the skin falling off their bodies.

SOUND OF TWO HAND ANGEL (1974)
SOUND OF TWO HAND ANGEL (1974)
A still from HEAD
A still from HEAD
A still from A MOVIE
A still from A MOVIE
A still from A MOVIE
A still from A MOVIE
A still from A MOVIE
A still from A MOVIE
A still from A MOVIE
A still from A MOVIE
A still from A MOVIE
A still from A MOVIE
Campaign poster (1967)
Campaign poster (1967)

"It's inevitable."

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