Dog of war
Pencils and charcoal on handmade paper.
2016. 76X56cm / 100X77cm framed
THE KILLERS, Miss Atomic bomb
Miss Atomic (Pageants)
The pageants were "inspired by the cultural phenomena, Las Vegas decided to combine two of its major attractions – nuclear bombs and showgirls – into a beauty contest". There were only four "showgirl-turned-beauty-queens" and "there was no single Miss Atomic Bomb beauty pageant, and most of the queens were simply showgirls chosen for their radiant ... looks". "The queens came about in an only loosely related manner: atomic-themed, usually of the mushroom cloud variety, costumes.
The first atomic pin-up girl, Candyce King, appeared on May 9, 1952 in the “Evening Telegraph” (Dixon, Illinois) and the “Day Record” (Statesville, North Carolina) papers as “Miss Atomic Blast.
In the spring of 1953, the city of North Las Vegas chose Paula Harris as Miss North Las Vegas of 1953 and gave her the nickname “Miss A-Bomb.
In 1955, Operation Cue drew attention when it was delayed multiple times because of high winds and was nicknamed “Operation Mis-Cue.” Linda Lawson was crowned “Miss Cue” on May 1, 1955. The title was “to illustrate another mis-firing of the Operation Cue Bomb.” Lawson’s "crown" was a mushroom cloud.
The last and most famous was Lee A. Merlin was crowned as “Miss Atomic Bomb”, coinciding with Operation Plumbbob, while wearing a cotton mushroom cloud on the front of her swimsuit. The popular photograph by Don English was distributed nationally. She was the last “Miss Atomic Bomb. Don English of the Las Vegas Sun photographed her.