The Bomb Pop, a frozen snack marketed to children with an odd combination of American colors and war references, dates back to 1955. In this rendition, Sonya leans on a giant red, white, and blue popsicle while enjoying an appropriately portioned pop. Wearing only her long, flowing hair, she appears upbeat and aware of being on display. Borrowing from classic pin-up illustrations, this digitally produced photo manipulation incorporates a circle into the design. The model’s fingernails and toenails are painted to match the blue ice of the popsicle. She shows no reservation in her nudity or at resting her bare arm on the frigid dessert.
Part homage and part satire, this image is part of my Raw Sugar series that remixes canonical beauty queens with oversized sweets. I draw inspiration from iconic pin-up models such as Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Paige. The style is influenced by childhood memories of museum exhibits of artists such as Mel Ramos and Tom Wesselmann. The stamp of approval by the Metropolitan Museum of Art assured me at a formative age that a fascination with the genre was legitimate. The first art book I owned was a compilation simply titled Pin-uP, by Hajime Sorayama, that I ordered when I was about thirteen. Inside that book, food played a symbolic role in the compositions, creating metaphors that I did not fully comprehend at that age. In art school, my classmates and I investigated the work of Olivia De Berardinis through dialogue and deliberation. Presently, I am fascinated by the overconsumption of sugar. Through this series, I offer an alternative to a sugary diet to satisfy our sweet tooth in the form of visual comfort food.
This artwork is not endorsed by or affiliated with Wells Enterprises, Inc., the maker of Bomb Pop.