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In his cartoonish style, Robert Colescott painted two related scenes. In the upper scene, a woman and boy sit on a couch watching a show in which a gunman holds a nearly naked woman at gunpoint. The woman on the sofa is blindfolded and drinking, oblivious to the sex and violence the boy is watching. Both of them, however, are unaware of the violence taking place behind them. A naked woman hiding a gun enters the scene, where she confronts a man with another woman on his lap. The skeletons, both with bullet holes in their skulls, tell us what happens next. The satirical painting offers a pointed commentary about violence and society: what’s playing out in the fantasyland of T.V. might be taking place right behind you.

2002.26.5

Details

  • Title: Saturday Night Special (I Seen it on T.V.)
  • Creator: Robert Colescott
  • Date Created: 1988-05
  • Physical Dimensions: 84 x 72 in. (213.4 x 182.9 cm)
  • Credit Line: In memory of Mary and Dudley Cooper from the family of Joel B. Cooper
  • Rights: © Robert Colescott courtesy Phyllis Kind Gallery, NY
  • Medium: Acrylic on canvas

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