Matthew Day Jackson "Rainbow Party" 2014
Four Plate, Four Color Etching
Edition of 45 + 4 AP, 4 PP, 1 BAT
Arches Cover 250 gsm
Image Size: 19.5 x 14.25 inches; Sheet Size: 27 x 20.5 inches
Signed on lower right in pencil
Printed by Christopher T. Creyts, Collaborative Art Editions
Published by Collaborative Art Editions
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Matthew Day Jackson
Rainbow Party, 2014
Using an iconic symbol of conservation, Jackson re-etched an old Audubon plate, then dropped in a shimmering background of his interpretation of the nuclear testing (code name Starfish Prime) that took place in Hawaii on July 8, 1962 when the resulting explosion of a hydrogen bomb turned the skies into a technicolor light show of nuclear fallout. Starfish Prime was 100 times bigger than the Hiroshima bomb.
In Hawaii, where the effects were most visible, hotels arranged “rainbow bomb parties” so their guests could have a rooftop view of the radioactive particles drifting across the sky. Jackson sees this point in time as utterly changing man's reality and existence forever and as a pivotal time in our existence where "We can't turn back". Jackson framed the image with the words from an observer written in a U.S. Department of Defense report that documented some of the results of Starfish Prime:
At 09:00:09 GMT a brilliant white flash burned through the clouds rapidly while a white yellow streak extended and grew to the north from near zenith. It then changed to an expanding green ball of irradiance extending into the clear sky above the overcast. From its surface extruded great white fingers, resembling cirrostratus clouds, rising above the horizon in sweeping arcs turning downward toward the poles and disappearing being replaced by spectacular concentric cirrus like rings.
They persisted in a state of frozen stillness until a greenish light turned to purple and began to fade to a bright red glow. The whole eastern sky became a dull burning red interspersed with tremendous white rainbows that lasted a whole seven minutes.
Note: Rainbow Party is the predecessor to the epic portfolio of 12 etchings titled There Will Come Soft Rains to be released 2016.