Scared Little Boy reproduces the form of Fat Man, the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. (Little Boy was the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.) It is a 6-foot interlocking laser-cut acrylic sculpture lit by 1024 LEDs driven by a custom repurposed control panel. It is laser-etched with the image of a fetus in utero and a large oak tree. The work examines childhood innocence, mutual destruction, and the possibility of regeneration. What happens when a boy doesn't learn to process his anger, fear, and sadness? What if he has the nuclear codes? What can grow when the slate is wiped clean by tragedy? These questions run to the heart of my artistic purpose: to challenge notions of "good" and "evil"; to examine the nature of trauma and healing; to highlight the mutual humanity we share with our "enemies".
Scared Little Boy plays with the concept of space by juxtaposing disparate elements in a single form. The atomic bomb is the most destructive thing humans have ever created; its insides are a mass of radioactive material and precision engineering. But it is also the shape of a seed, of a womb. Here, a fetus occupies this internal space where the destructive innards should be. How can a new life exist in a space of darkness and death? How do we reconcile the tragedy of war with the miracle of birth? Only by considering these concepts simultaneously can we truly understand the breadth of human experience.