New Britain Museum of American Art

The New Britain Museum of American Art (NBMAA) is pleased to announce the recent gift of ‘Ground Bomb, Winter Blast, Arizona, 2002’ by Simon Roberts, given by Tom & Nancy O’Neil to the collection. The NBMAA collection represents the major artists and movements of American art. Today it numbers about 8,274 paintings, works on paper, sculptures, and photographs.

The print comes from Roberts’ series This Land is Your Land, which explores how the cultural climate and significantly altered political landscape in post 9-11 America had affected individual’s civil liberties. ‘Ground Bomb’ was taken at the Winter Blast 2002 pyrothechnic festival, which was organised by the Western Pyrotechnic Association and held in Lake Havasu on President’s Day Weekend. The event became a patriotic rallying cry for the so-called ‘War Against Terror’ where registered pyro-technicians gathered to manufacture and shoot consumer grade fireworks (with names like ‘Bin Laden suppositories’ and ‘Terrorist blasters’), to the soundtrack of John Wayne waxing lyrical about the beauty of America and George W Bush claiming that “freedom will be defended from a faceless enemy.”