22 Nov

danish_royal_familyThis horrifically kitsch and perfectly ghastly painting was commissioned by the Danish royal family from the artist Thomas Kluge in the past few years and completed recently. It was not commissioned from some hack illustrator in 1979 for the cover of a bad horror novel, as its dated and creepy style might suggest. It’s just so ugly. Even Rolf Harris is a better painter of royal parasites, and he’s appalling. They claim:

“Stylistically, Kluge’s art can be characterized as a kind of magic realism, and while making obvious art historical references he is also a significant postmodern innovator. In his works the precise depiction of humans and objects known from reality forms part of a universe which challenges the interpretations of the spectator, as they encompass something other and deeper than immediate, accurate likeness.”

Other? I’ll say. Other, perhaps, in the sense that Prince Christian doesn’t look “upright and severe” or “aware of his future responsibilities” as is claimed in the publicity gubbins. He looks exactly like one of the terrifying little Midwich Cuckoo bastards from Village of the Damned.


An aside: this film was written by a gentleman called Stirling Silliphant, which is an absolutely magnificent name.


They’re aware of their future responsibilities, which include enslaving the human race and using human women as unwilling incubators for their alien spawn.

Weird child-demons? Yes, that about sums it up. The abominations on the right are presumably playing with Lego (Denmark isn’t just about putting weird child-demons on the throne!), but did the Lego have to be blood red and look at first glance as if they’re carefully draping a swathe of freshly flayed skin? The girl on the left is about to explode your head with her Scanner powers. Why would anybody– least of all members of a royal house– sign off on a painting that makes their children look like Satan spawn? Unless it’s a coded admission of what some conspiracy theorists and people like David Icke have long suspected anyway. The Queen and Crown Prince certainly have the smug, condescending power-stares of people who are like: “Yah, we’re multimillionaire reptilian motherfuckers and we’ll be here forever at your expense, what are you peasants going to do about it?”

Perhaps Kluge has slyly pulled off a huge act of anti-monarchist subversion under the very noses of the monarchs themselves by doing such a horrible painting of them at their expense. I doubt it, though. Real life is rarely that just or satisfying. Artists are rarely that brave, either. In light of equally weird and crap (though less terrifying) official paintings done recently in Britain of the Duchess of Ambridge and Her Majesty Queen E-Lizard-β II, I think it’s more likely that the aristocracy just have appallingly bad taste. See also: Prince Charles.



  1. Paul Neale 22/11/2013 at 4:17 PM #

    This, I like. Spot on in every way. Tone , text and graphics. Alas I am not Danish, I would like it more I am sure. In the image itself I rather like the background. This surely must be Bryan Organ/Humphrey Ocean channeling Gainsborough on Acid. It is a work of art and I would classify this as Deep Kitsch.

    • Alistair 22/11/2013 at 5:51 PM #

      Them standing blithely in the decayed ruins of a Neoclassical palace is one of the things that leaves me with a nagging feeling that the artist may be winking at us because he’s carried out a superb subversion of his commission, while going totally over the heads of his subjects. The link mentions some connection to an 18th century painting, but I’m still struggling to come up with a positive, non-satirical semiotic association when a living royal family is depicted among the decayed and collapsing splendour of their own ancestors’ past. “Look at these useless old wrecks… and the buildings.”
      He’s either such a bad artist that he didn’t think his imagery through, or he’s a massive troll. In either case it is indeed profoundly kitsch. Actually the lone defender of the painting on the English version of the page I linked to even admits it’s kitsch.

  2. erickuns 23/11/2013 at 11:10 AM #

    Horrendously bad painting. None of the lighting matches. Looks like a Photoshop collage painted large. Mostly, as you say, it looks like a billboard for a horror movie, which is what I thought it was at first.

    How, oh how could the center kid NOT being intended to look demonic when he is lit from below, like he’s holding a flashlight up to his face?

  3. Alistair 02/12/2013 at 12:02 PM #

    Reblogged this on Alistair Gentry.

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