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Philip Evergood

Fascist Leader

Philip Evergood was born in New York in 1901, the son of an Australian father of Polish descent and a well-educated, English mother from a wealthy family. Evergood is a difficult artist to categorize. He does and does not fit with the social realists, Surrealists, Expressionists, and so called “Primitives.” His art is expressive, imaginative, and often symbolic, but the symbolism is not obtuse. When he uses symbols they are often topical and universal.

Fascist Leader is an obvious commentary on World War II and fascism but also generally on war and human subjugation. The fascist leader, a human skeleton in a fancy blue and gold uniform, stands out against the white haze of paint behind him. An oversized gold tassel dangles from his hat, making it appear that he is half blinded, yet led along by the absurd decoration. The figures in the compressed background are both prisoners of war and symbols of human plight, literally chained together in a friezelike procession that traipses across the grim stage.

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