LOST BOYS

 

The name for the series comes from the film ‘Lost Boys’ which starred both Corey Feldman and Corey Haim.  Ten years later both boys, who were the highest paid teen stars in the 1980s, would be struggling into adulthood, plagued with drug addiction and arrests.  Corey Feldman would divorce his parents while Corey Haim would file for bankruptcy before dying of a drugs overdose in his thirties.

Since the beginning of film and the cult of celebrity, there has been an abundance of pushy parents eager to commit their children to a life in the limelight.  While there are countless examples of child actors whose careers continue into adulthood, there are those who get left behind.  The subjects of mass adoration as children, child stars are popular objects of speculation and derision with both the press and the public.  There is little sympathy for the former child star who turns to drugs and ends up in rehab - until he hangs himself or dies of an overdose.  ‘Where Are They Now?’ articles relish stories of former adorable child actors who suffer poverty or embarrassment as adults.  Unable to cope with an ordinary life, many turn to drugs and crime and some to suicide.

Having seen many child stars turn into adults and get rejected by the public, Mary Pickford famously played children into her mid-thirties during the silent film era.  With the recent death of Michael Jackson, we have seen how old footage and memories of a young Michael can forgive the sins of the adult.  The uniqueness of the former child stars, who often portrayed brave and inspiring characters as children, is their association in our minds with innocence and potential.   Once loved for these portrayals, paradoxically it is the strength of their memorable performances which make us turn against them once they disappoint us in adulthood.

 

(Text taken from the Fine Art Society's press release, May 2014)

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