Jan 6th 2013 By: Lauren Davis
If you unmasked the children in Benjamin F. Guy
's HELM series
, they would probably be classic portraiture subjects: happy children in clean clothes sitting atop their tricycles and bounded around sandboxes. But Guy has added a touch that transforms these children into objects of fascination, overwhelming them with giant helmets from Star Wars, Metroid, Halo, Gundam and more while keeping these kiddos in their Sunday best.
What's especially compelling about HELM
is the questions the paintings invite about the children depicted. Are they supposed to fans of these series playing with oversized toys? Are they in-universe kids longing to step into footprints (or helmets) that are too big or adult for them? Are they the children of fans forced into their parents' fandom, much like they are placed in knee socks and Mary Janes for their parents' approval? Or are we just meant to sit back and enjoy the juxtaposition of one image of childhood with another, more media-centered image?
You can see more paintings from the HELM series on Guy's website