Jack Smith IV, “This is fashwave, the suicidal retro-futurist art of the alt-right,” Mic

“The stability and monumentalism of these male heads and male torsos is comforting to young men as a model of a great man. A warrior — the beautiful, perfect male who is ‘European,’” Ben-Ghiat told Mic in an interview. “The joke is that the purity never existed in these cultures, so it’s quite a fantasy, but it’s a compelling fantasy.”

There is a futurism in this art, insofar as it is stylized as a 1980s retro-futurism, featuring DeLoreans and Tron-like virtual landscapes. Fascist art is typically full of contradictions, Ben-Ghiat said. It looks helplessly at the past for a vision of the future.

There’s one recurring character that stands out in the busy nest of neo-Nazi iconography and impossible landscapes: a small, lone traveller in the foreground of the image, a solitary hero facing down some unconquerable threat. Without a clear proposition of the future, Ben-Ghait observes, fashwave supposes that the challenge ahead is insurmountable, and that the road to oblivion is taken without company.

Jack Smith IV, “This is fashwave, the suicidal retro-futurist art of the alt-right,” Mic
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