Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Smoke of Chimneys is the breath of Soviet Russia

Collection of Russian and Ukrainian posters, 1917-1921.
The Library's early Soviet posters contain several examples by internationally-recognized graphic artists such as Dmitrii Moor (Orlov), artist and poet Vladimir Maiakovskii (who visited NYPL in 1928), and Viktor Deni (Denisov). The holdings represent one of the largest assemblages of such posters outside of Russia, comparable only to the Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, California, and the Lundell Collection in Uppsala, Sweden.
The graphic artistry encountered in many of these cheaply produced posters has captivated critics and collectors for decades. The visual boldness and departure from established tradition were in themselves statements of how much had changed since the Revolutions of 1917. Artists who had been on the "fringe" before the Revolution moved center stage, and would remain there until the imposition of Socialist Realism under Stalin in the late 1930s. (from NYPL)
...90 years later

Tom Stern:

I did this video for a Russian Metal Band called ANJ. It is pretty crazy. When I saw the lyrics it seemed to be an earnest tribute to Mikael Gorbachov (that's how the Russians spell it), so I was a bit confounded about what the video concept should be, but then I had a brainstorm to take it way over the top and I think it was just the thing. Suffice to say it's half Russian History allegory as told through an old zombie movie made in the Soviet Union, and half animated Soviet Propaganda posters.

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