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Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid:

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Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid:
Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid, born in Moscow in the 1940s, studied together in the Moscow Art School from 1958-1960 (DAF 1). They began their collaborative work in 1965, and in 1967, they established the SOTS Art movement (the Soviet version of Western Pop Art). Through their SOTS Art movement they worked along with other Soviet nonconformist artists to create work that challenged the rigid official style of Socialist Realism (DAF 1). They held their first international exhibition at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, in 1976 and from that time, they are holding many public commissions and exhibitions at the international level (DAF 1). In 1978, Komar & Melamid shifted to America and in 1981, they …show more content…

This seems to slyly indicate the heroism of Stalin that was lauded in Soviet history for bringing peace after the Bolshevik Revolution and for creating the Soviet empire. This painting thus brings together the Soviet empire, ancient Rome and France. While Stalin represents the Soviet Union, the muses symbolize ancient Rome and France is represented by the neoclassical style and the allusions to Napoleon (Hillings 49). The painting makes the viewer reflect on the contradictory nature of such periods of imperial glory and how they always decline and fail. By depicting Stalin in an artificial manner like a frozen sculpture on a pedestal, Komar and Melamid expose the artificial nature of his public persona that was institutionalized and canonized through various media (Hillings 49).
Komar and Melamid’s painting titled “Lenin Lived, Lenin Lives, Lenin Will Live! (1982)” shows the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin lying at the top of the podium in the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow and a kneeling female figure in mourning in the lower right corner. The painting bears resemblances to the Soviet and French Revolutionary and Christian models (Hillings 49). Lenin’s corpse and the other-worldly female figure show an artificial disconnect that resembles how various Soviet regimes used

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