Ink print, 22 x 16 finished to 28.25 x 23.25 inches. Collection of the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.
On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, heiress to the Hearst newspaper fortune, was abducted by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), an American-based terrorist group that committed several murders and acts of violence in the early to mid-
1970s. After alleged mental, physical, and sexual abuse, Patty joined the SLA and shocked the country when she dramatically participated in a bank robbery on April 15, 1975. The image of Patty Hearst posed before the symbol of the SLA, the seven-headed hydra, became one of the defining icons of the era. In Classical mythology, the hydra was a marsh serpent of many heads, each of which, when cut off, would grow back as two. The Shopper, standing before the image of a “big
box” store, echoes the hydra’s ability to replicate itself at an alarming rate.