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The Wings will Grow from the series American Dreams

© Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid. Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY.Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

The Wings will Grow from the series American Dreams

Artist: Vitaly Komar (Born in Moscow, Russia (formerly the USSR), 1943)
Artist: Alexander Melamid (Born in Moscow, Russia (formerly the USSR), 1945)
Culture: Russian: American
Date: 1999
Medium: Screenprint on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 32 x 19 inches (81.3 x 48.3 cm)
Sheet: 41 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches (105.4 x 69.9 cm)
Mat: 48 x 36 inches (121.9 x 91.4 cm)
State: 10
Edition: 46
Classification: Print
Credit Line: Gift of J. Gibson Waitzkin
Label Text:The Wings Will Grow belongs to Komar and Melamid’s American Dreams series, which appropriates nationalistic imagery of the United States through various depictions of George Washington, among other iconic symbols of the nation. In this print, Washington appears with a globe, a column, and drapery that the artists borrowed from the left side of Edward Savage’s famous painting The Washington Family (1789-96; below). General Washington, as the father of the nation, holds an infant with the head of a bald eagle, the emblem selected in 1782 to stand for the United States as a representation of long life, strength, and beauty. Rather than present the eagle in all its majesty, the powerful bird is depicted as a struggling infant whose “wings will grow.” This ironic title is a reference to the infancy of the nation, especially compared with the long history of Russia. Thus Komar and Melamid comment on the instability of the American dream, reinforcing this idea by noting that Washington holds the baby/eagle/nation “uncomfortably, as though he is not used to it.” TZ
Object number: 1999.5.1