HAZARDS MAY BE PRESENT II
Hazards May Be Present is an ongoing series of drawings exploring the events and aftermath of nuclear testing following World War II, specifically the towing of radiated naval vessels back to the California Coast, the mishandling of which would go on to shape both San Francisco’s Hunter’s Point Shipyard and the surrounding neighborhoods for years to come.
While awareness of residual environmental contaminants has recently grown due to lawsuits encompassing the Federal Government’s clean-up process of the naval base, many San Franciscans are oblivious to the dark history beneath the Southern corner of their city and its unabated impacts on the physical and social fabric of the area.
Phillips’ deftly rendered figures huddle in Rockwell-esque compositions around nuclear testing equipment, on naval bases, even shielding their eyes from a blast. The distinctly American imagery and style of Phillips’ characters echo a larger, darker truth often omitted from the largely heroic narrative surrounding the Allied force’s use of nuclear weapons during World War II.