VSL:WEB // See tomorrow’s oligarchs, today

Anna Skladmann’s photo essay “Little Adults” features the fabulously rich children of Russia’s oligarchs. So why aren’t they smiling?

According to Skladmann, these kids are dressed like adults — and taught to wear the blank expressions of trauma victims — from toddlerhood. And so, a couple of dead-eyed kids share the frame with a Philippe Stark table lamp that’s shaped like an AK47. Other kids pose in fine restaurants or in casinos (nursing stacks of chips at a roulette table). And anyone who objects to kiddie beauty pageants will be troubled by the young girls: One sports a red bikini and towering black high heels; neglected toys lie at her feet. But now that the financial crisis is hitting the oligarchs, maybe some of these kids will get to be kids after all.

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