Turing and Snow White (2006)


Acrylic on canvas, 510mm x 510mm

Alan Turing is rightly regarded as the father of modern computer science. He was also gay, and suffered terribly at the hands of 1950s British intolerance. After being charged with gross indecency, he was forced to take oestrogen in an attempt to quosh his libido. The side effects included weight gain and the development of breasts – a dreadful result for a world class marathon runner. Shortly after this time, he committed suicide by eating an apple laced with cyanide.

The composition is influenced by the early renaissance painter Lucas Cranach, the elder from one of his many paintings of the garden of Eden.

I’ll be exhibiting this painting in shardcorner on saturday, so please come along and take a look – I’ll be happy to discuss any of the work on show.

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3 Comments

  • yako says:

    Hi, my name is Giuseppe.
    My band, Long Hair In Three Stages, wrote a song about Alan Turing, and I wish we could use your painting for our tune, and possibly as a cd cover. Please write me.

  • Anon34 says:

    Don’t wanna link to it, but just as an FYI this is now featured on Rule 34…a porn site. Take it as you will, but that’s how I got here.

    Nice gallery, lol.

  • Peter Mahlin Sweden says:

    I’ve thought about the theory of Turing “acting out” the Snow White fairy tale for some time. The fairy tale is old of course, but was made common knowledge by the 1937 Walt Disney movie.

    As the story goes, Snow’s stepmother, the Evil Queen, is jealous of Snow’s greater beauty as told to her by the Magic Mirror. So the Queen decides to destroy – kill – Snow by an evil scheme.

    Alan Turing died on June 7, 1954. Queen Elisabeth II was crowned on February 6, 1952. According to custom, the British government is in many cases referred to as “the Queen” – and it was the unbelievable ungrateful government that drove Turing to his death. By playing a main role in the cracking of the extremely advanced Enigma chiffer used by the Third Reich, Turing is sometimes credited with saving millions of lives.

    But there was one big fault about him – he was not “of noble birth” or even “upper class” – and that ruling class was acting out with incomprehensible snobbery, and didn’t accept to be outstaged by a lowly commoner.

    This may seem strange, but there were numerous occasions during WW2 (and of course, all wars before that) when men of the British nobility were appointed to key positions and commands that they were blatantly incompetent for. Ask any WW2 buff. One example was the SOE’a compromised operation of sending agents into the occupied Netherlands, which did cost many agents’ lives.

    The status of the British nobility provided that they could get away with almost anything, unpunished. As an example, see William Forbes-Sempill, 19th Lord Sempill. Unbelievable stuff, really!

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