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"Power Pathos" presents pop surrealism with Texas ties

Sixteen hundred civilians were wounded or killed during that raid, and the village burned for three days, prompting Picasso to create his Guernica for the Paris Exhibition. That masterpiece has provided Ron English with endless inspiration, and three of the works in "Power Pathos" riff upon it, but none so largely as Kiddy Guernica, a 2006 work created on site at the Station. The famous horse is still there, his head twisting in anguish, but this time he's part of a merry-go-round. In the center of the work English has situated a boy, decked out in leather hat and goggles, manning a small fighter plane with a cold look in his eyes. By depicting both bombed and bomber as children, English emphasizes the number of civilian casualties in war while illuminating the killer inside all of us, inside all of our children, suckled on a steady diet of propaganda and toy guns. It's quintessential pop surrealism, a mixing of high and low, young and old, a simultaneous celebration and denigration of postmodern life, all topped off with a heaping dose of the carnivalesque.

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