Leading Causes of Death in America
Sandow Birk’s darkly satirical etching series takes inspiration from the work of realist painter/printmaker George Bellows and the Ashcan School practice of portraying the lives of everyday people. Here we see a harried office worker who is smoking while typing at a computer. Birk enhances the sense of stress and pressed time with surrounding clutter including file folders, post-it notes, a cell phone or pager, and fast food meal of a burger and french fries. The title, Malignant Neoplasms (Cancer), suggests a sinister future.