Ernst With His Futurological Clairvoyance and Prophetic Talent Examines the Social Types in the 21st Century

Max Ernst
Max Ernst (Ernst’s disturbing gaze into the soul of the 21st century humans)

Financial owners of the world

M. Ernst, “Composition”, 1943 (The exemplary family occupying a high place in social hierarchy)
M. Ernst, “CEO of global corporation”*

Look at this eye faded and dull but with super-attentive, even pressing although a depressed gaze. These eyes are not for seeing life – people or nature, but global minerals and financial operations. And look at these strong jaws for crushing not alive creatures but competitors, enemies and political opposition. But what about those tender legs and feet of the one not acquainted with firm earth – who has never stood on the legs because of taxpayers’ permanent and inexhaustible financial help? This creature is doomed to fly all over the globe searching for resources and places for future financial nesting. If, for example, you could take a look at Lord Bankfein’s naked feet, you would see only three toes, – one for profit, another for social power, and third for personal and corporate assets. Also appreciate almost “sexy” billionaire’s shorts.

People without meaning of life (for whom the meaning of life is social status, career, income, property and pride of having all that)

M. Ernst, “Composition”, 1943 (The exemplary family occupying a high place in social hierarchy)
M. Ernst, “Composition”, 1943 (An exemplary family proudly occupying a high place in the social hierarchy)

Here, we see a patriarchal family – a haughty father, mother enjoying comfort of being under the husband-father’s giant wing, and the daughter who will spread on 21st century land a new race of entrepreneurial owners of the earth, sky and life.

M. Ernst, “Bird” (“The Mother and the Child” or “The Wisdom of Human Birds”)
M. Ernst, “Bird” (“The Mother and the Child” or “The Wisdom and Sweet-heartness of Human Birds”)

This is a mother whose only pedagogical task is to make her child physically grow and study only to get a job – to provide for him/herself in future the means for success of physical survival in a not easy social world.

Neo-conservative leaders and decision-makers and their loyal servants

M. Ernst, “Dark Gods”, 1957, (“Neo-conservative preachers and war-lords”)
M. Ernst, “Dark Gods”, 1957, (“Neo-conservative rulers and preachers”)

There are no (antidemocratic) leaders without masters of propaganda. Without propagandist, the ruler in this painting (with high-tech neck cuff) will quickly fall dawn. Rulers are worshipped because they are… charismatically beautiful in their monstrosity, but propagandists are admired for their cruel “smartness” (knowing how to seduce the greedy and the hopeful and humiliate and destroy opponents of their masters).

M. Ernst, “Two Assistants”, 1967, (People for whom having job and being exemplary employees is a main goal of life)

With eyes obedient as that of pets, and bulging, as if, to see more/better how to serve and collect their rewards, with faces which worship master/owner for a piece of treat, these two look like junior stockbrokers, the assistants of a giant stock-market mega-factory.

Conservative simpletons (unconditional, jingoistic believers in a sacred value of “our” way of life)

M. Ernst, “Tea-Party enthusiast and Stara Perlin (sitting on his head and chirping in his and his peers’ name“
M. Ernst, “Tea-Party enthusiast and Stara Perlin sitting on his head and chirping in his and his peers’ name“

The both faces are metallic, but the tea-partier has frightened eyes while Starla Perlin is with gluttonous ones – she wants more talk-opportunities, more popularity and more influence to lead the masses.

The apolitical ones among the young generation – carriers of technical mind (as a weapon of social success) and a purely physiological heart

Ernst, “Illiterates”
Ernst, “Illiterates”

We see the baby nurtured by the master-monster. The baby has just eaten somebody alive (notice the trace of blood mixed with baby’s saliva). The task of a parent is to make his offspring competitive, like many parents today who sign in their three year olds to learn kung-fu or their ten year olds to participate in ultimate fight for children – to know “how to defend themselves” in fight for “survival”. The gaze of the baby is still touchingly naïve, and it will keep this naiveté into adulthood while being able to successfully eliminate rivals and enemies.

Liberal simpletons (believers in stability and eternity of democracy because of supernatural power of its natural glory)

M. Ernst, “I am” (“I am somebody because I am”; “I deserve attention and respect because I exist”)
M. Ernst, “I am” (I am somebody because I am; I deserve attention and respect because I exist; I deserve to be heard because I have a voice)

M. Ernst, “I Exist”
M. Ernst, “I Exist” (I am here, I am expecting to be treated well by democracy – with interest and appreciation)

M. Ernst, “I have Rights”
M. Ernst, “I Have Rights” (you cannot neglect my opinions; you cannot neglect my voting privilege and my basic needs)

M. Ernst, “The One Surprised by the Truth and still can't believe it”
M. Ernst, “One Who is surprised by the Truth and yet cannot believe in it”

These eyes cannot accept the truth as it is and cannot “unglue” from the shock. They, and brain behind it, are frozen forever.

Preparing new generation of guards and soldiers

M. Ernst, “Les Apatrides”, 1939 (“File-people”)
M. Ernst, “Les Apatrides”, 1939 (File-people)

These creatures with artificial brains didn’t exist yet (Ernst shows them as a project, as if drawn schematically on paper). It appears that the “male” is on the right side. He supposed to be a more technically advanced robot that doesn’t need legs to move. He will have the ability to jump or even fly. But the female is projected as a more bio-traditional. In this sense she will be more advanced – equipped with giving birth capabilities. And she is not less strong than file-male. It seems, the files are ready for courtship and reproduction.

Max Ernst after WW2
Max Ernst after WWII (his gaze here is not reproachful; it rather invites people to think about what they have done. It’s also justifiably doubtful that people will be able to think – how it was possible to have this war and for that matter all the previous and all the following wars altogether). Nothing is stronger than people’s ability to forget in their hearts what really happened under the banner of everyday life.

*In spite of all our efforts we were not able to find the titles and dates of some Ernst’s works represented in this post. In such cases we put our interpretative comments as ersatz titles instead.