Untitled [Venus with Reptiles]
The early 1960s found Smithson experimenting with his own irreverent approach to Pop Art. This collage is part science fiction, part pornography, and entirely indicative of Smithson’s rebellion against the status quo. Venus with Reptiles features a pin-up girl surrounded by seemingly prehistoric creatures, mounted on a boldly patterned backdrop. It harkens to icons of popular culture such as Godzilla and King Kong, while starkly exposing the basis of their commercial appeal: fear and sex. Stripped of a narrative context, Venus with Reptiles reveals a humorous approach to what Smithson saw as Pop’s limited scope.