|Description:||I did not want the image with the first piece to be an academic looking portrait, but to be reminiscent of an old faded photo, while also hinting at Soviet architecture around the figure. I wished for the child to look both small within the space but also menacing, as to this day the fate of the Romanovs has been within the conscience of the Russian people. The icon has always been within Russian art has played a vital role in Russian history, and I find it particularly interesting that this family were massacred and the canonized as saints by the Russian Orthodox Church within a generation. Russia is a culture well known for trying to wipe out the past in order to move to a stronger future, this character is a testament to the persistence of memory. Alexi in particular is seen as a martyr due to his weakened state caused by hemophilia and his close trusting relationship to the monk Rasputin who betrayed him.
I order to produce this painting I felt that I needed to research the history and politics surrounding the Russian Czars and the Russian Revolution, but I still feel that as an outsider I shall never really understand these events. While producing this work I also came to regard the darkness within the image as representing my own ignorance, and found that in my eyes it seemed to be a more coherent piece only when it became so dark that the viewer almost struggled to see the image.