Tim Rollins, K.O.S. (Kids of Survival), Angel Abreu, Jose Burges, Robert Delgado, George Garces, Richard Lulo, Nelson Montes, José Parissi, Carlos Rivera, Annette Rosado, Nelson Ricardo Savinon. Amerika VIII. 1986-87
  • MoMA, Floor 2, 206 The David Geffen Wing

This work was made by Rollins and nine members of K.O.S. (Kids of Survival), a group of teenagers from the South Bronx who collaborate with Rollins to create visual art based on works of literature. In response to Franz Kafka's novel Amerika (1927), the artists painted golden horns of various configurations on top of pages from the book. Karl Rossman, the protagonist of Kafka's novel, emigrates to New York in search of freedom and work, only to be confronted with oppression and destitution. Karl is recruited to join a mysterious project called the Nature Theatre of Oklahoma, where he encounters hundreds of women dressed as angels elevated on concealed platforms, playing golden horns. Beneath the painted elements, the book pages form a grid that supports the more organic shapes, creating an image that, according to Rollins, is at once "unified and chaotic, elegant and furious."

Gallery label from What is Painting? Contemporary Art from the Collection, July 7–September 17, 2007 .
Collaborating artist
Angel Abreu, Jose Burges, Robert Delgado, George Garces, Richard Lulo, Nelson Montes, José Parissi, Carlos Rivera, Annette Rosado, Nelson Ricardo Savinon
Watercolor, charcoal, and pencil on bookpages on linen
69 1/8" x 14' (175.6 x 426.7 cm)
Jerry I. Speyer Fund and Robert and Meryl Meltzer Fund
Object number
© 2021 Tim Rollins and K.O.S.
Painting and Sculpture

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