New Mexico Art Tells its History

World Cup

World Cup, ca. 1985
Roger Sweet (b. 1946)
mixed media
Gift of the artist, 1985 

Roger Sweet’s World Cup montages icons representing the outcome of a nuclear catastrophe. Many of the components for the Cup came from the landfill near his home at Jemez Springs and represent the lives shattered in the aftermath of the detonations over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The power of his sculpture rests with the juxtaposition of photographs of the blast, the road-kill snake, and portraits of the Rosenbergs who were executed for selling nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union. The sculpture evokes the idea of a victory cup won by the United States in the Cold War arms race.

The fragmented components that make up Roger Sweet’s artwork came largely from the landfill near his home in the Jemez Mountains, not too far from Los Alamos, where the atom bomb was invented. His assemblage includes photographs of the bomb blast and Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Manhattan Project,  a cowboy boot, and a road kill snake. The fragments of objects and images explode out of the delicate tea cup base, which includes a small Anasazi pot sherd.

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