B-36/Mark 17 H-Bomb Accident (May 22, 1957), 5 ½ Miles So. of Gibson Blvd.

Patrick Nagatani

(Chicago, 1945 - October 27, 2017, Albuquerque)


Ilfocolor print

20 in. x 24 in. (50.8 cm x 60.96 cm)

Gift of George Stephanopoulos


More Information

In 1957, a hydrogen bomb fell out of a B-36 bomber landing at Kirtland Air Force Base, leaving a crater 25 feet in diameter and 12 feet deep. Nagatani’s first attempt to address this accident involved visiting the site and recreating the hole, which he painted green to make it more visible. He hung up a model B-36 plane and posed a photographer, a nude model, 3 “reporters” and foamcore cutouts of a Pueblo Indian family and women in military uniforms. Dissatisfied with the resulting image, Nagatani returned to the site, at that point covered in snow, and shot himself comparing the first photograph to the landscape.

United States