The second in a mini-series about less than cherubic tots, this time looking at the sweet little boys who surprisingly grew up to become the most evil and infamous men in recent history.
Annie Kevans’ Boys, a series of dreamy faded oils on paper, is reminiscent of old black and white photographs of early 20th century children. Staring solemnly out at us with wide, dark eyes in washed-out faces, Kevans applies paint tenderly to their rosy cheeks like the touch of a mother fondly spit-rubbing a smudge from a button nose.
But as the titles of each work suggest, these boys, full of potential, grew into Chairman Mao, Hitler, Stalin and other dictators who wreaked terror on foreign, and their own, countries, throughout the 20th century.
Kevans bravely reveals the innocence of these young villains, whose faces are partly based on real photographs and part-imagined, defying anyone who would suggest going ‘back in time to kill Hitler’ by playing upon our instinctive human weakness for a cute young face.
Wide-eyed Joseph Stalin went on to kill up to 60 million people under his regime of horror. Born Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jugashvili, he adopted the name Stalin from the Russian word for steel. He also gave himself the nickname ‘Man of Steel’ and for some serious ‘blue steel’ look at the image below:
Psychology Today argues that good looking people are prone to being psychopathic and narcissistic, using their magnetism to draw others in and influence them. A good reason to be suspicious of beauty queens and male heart throbs.
Annie Kevans’ works were shown in The Saatchi Gallery’s Paper in 2013 and her series Boys can be seen in its entirety here.
For more of Kevans’ work see her website.
- Guest-blogger, Kat Hawker