Rage Against Machine

Rage Against Machine


Robert A. Pruitt

(American, b. 1975)

Conté crayon on Kraft paper

Sheet: 207.2 x 155.3 cm (81 9/16 x 61 1/8 in.)

Ruthe and Heinz Eppler Fund 2009.85


Did you know?

The title of this drawing alludes to the band Rage Against the Machine, whose lyrics were inspired by revolutionary politics.


In this drawing Robert Pruitt depicts a woman dressed in costume from the 19th century, when slavery still flourished, but with contemporary tennis shoes peeking out from underneath her dress. She holds a long-handled hammer, a reference to the freed slave John Henry, who worked as a steel driver and became a legend when he won a race against a steam-powered hammer during the 1870s. In the same way that Henry overcame a machine, Pruitt's heroic figure suggests the destruction of a corrupt and inequitable system.

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