The paintings from “Mooste Noored” create a collective portrait of youth in Mooste, Estonia. These are the faces of the first generation born after Estonia’s 1991 independence from the USSR. Because this generation has no first-hand account of the three occupations that dominated Estonia in the last century by two of the most brutal regimes in history, it understands its national legacy mostly through story, and through the physical reminder of Soviet industrial decay spotting the outskirts of their village. In stark contrast to their parents and grandparents, they are curiously removed from history—a generation more attuned to YouTube and Nike and the other accoutrements of globalization than their country’s great events, struggles and heroes. They are the emblems every country has, the new generation emerging from political upheaval, war, or occupation, living out a new story.
Each portrait isolates the figure so that they are without context of place or history.
Jane Hamill lives and works in New York. She is represented by Stricoff Fine Art.
This slideshow was selected by guest art editor, Mike Shankman