Robert Longo


The charcoal drawing, Dark Mike, depicted in this photograph is from a series entitled Monsters (presented at the 2004 Whitney Biennial). The drawings of atomic and nuclear explosions are from The Sickness of Reason, a series that delves into the psychological and physical powers of nature over man. This is the third series in a trilogy that began with the series Monsters (nature itself), followed by The Freud Drawings (man's inner nature), and ending with The Sickness of Reason. The last concerns man-made nature, both eerily beautiful and highly destructive. Taken from original, grainy government photos, the explosions happen all over again in the aesthetic nature of these drawings. There is a deliberate neutral portrayal of these events to force the viewer to make his own story about the picture. The title The Sickness of Reason is a reference to Goya. This body of work was inspired by his Disasters of War series—particularly the painting The Colossus.