About this print: “Parachute Tow” shows the moment prior to launch, as the man in the helmet prepares to run behind a car that will tow him up into the sky. Two young men hold up the parachute to let more air in. In this print, as in others in the series, the artist “breaks the frame” of the image area with the parachute, the tow rope, and the enthusiast’s legs and feet. The artist’s satirical humor is evident in a compositional reference to the crucifixion to suggest the sacrificial nature of this activity. This image, along with other flight related prints in this series, can be found in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
About the series: Through his interest in sailing the artist became aware of the increasing significance of leisure time pursuits as an American cultural obsession. Increasing economic prosperity has allowed the average person more time off and the money for leisure time activities. The artist observed that identifying strongly with a specific sporting activity is akin to joining a sub-culture; a social group identified by a common dress, terminology, etiquette, and set of behaviors. During the years 1975 through 1978 Pond traveled extensively around the United States to create this series showing leisure time enthusiasts in their finest moments.