One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship. -George Orwell
Miami-based artist Pete Kirill proudly presents "The Dictator Hall of Fame" series, in a special print edition for Fab.com. Kirill's portraits highlight the stark contrasts between the ideologies and lifestyles of the world's most controversial leaders. These figures are (or were) as ruthless as they are fascinating. Kirill's straightforward, bold painting technique recalls the glamour of the propaganda posters and Hollywood billboards of yesteryear. And yet, they are very much current and very much significant.
Pete Kirill's practice originated from a series of neo-Pop portraits, anchored by the artificial persona and physical gestures of enigmatic, former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. At present, Kirill's work investigates the fractured relationships between conscience, consumerism and Capitalism: his satirical portraits fuse iconic film and music stars with equally important figures from the hip-hop world. Kirill's work opens complex possibilities and associations from within and without the fabricated personas of these individuals (such as James Dean, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Sean Connery), prompting his audience to reconsider their respective public legacies. They become stars all over again, a double-layer of celebrity varnish.
Pete Kirill was born in Mobile, Alabama in 1974. He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (concentration in Fine Art and Design). Kirill collaborated with techno-timba music collective Sin Palabras (Havana) from 2000 to 2003. His first solo exhibition, A Communist Dictator Visits Miami, debuted at Myra Galleries Miami in October 2011. In February 2013 he completed MC Elvis, a full-scale mural in Miami's Wynwood Arts District, receiving widespread coverage from The Miami Herald, CBS News Miami, FOX News Miami and Yareah Magazine. Kirill lives and works in Miami. He has since completed projects in Miami, Hollywood (Florida) and New York..