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Soviet Propaganda Pin-up Mash-ups


07.09.13 Marina Galperina

There was one and only one photography magazine for photography in the Soviet Union — Soviet Photo. Admittedly, Soviet propaganda generally looks sweet. Amp up the Constructivist aesthetic over some tight floral pattern and that shit’s timeless to hommage over and over and over again — amirite, Shepard Fairey?

But if you’re an amateur or professional in photographer in the Soviet Union, that gets old fast. Artist Roman Pyatkovka was an underground photographer back in the ’70s and ’80s. It was risky. He’s real proud. 

It was a time when the police would view anyone with a camera as suspicious. A time when any nude image was considered pornographic. My works were a breath of fresh air against the oppressive totalitarian state.

So when you look at these relatively tame collages of Soviet Photo over vintage pin-ups, think deep:

My art is a three-way junction of ideologized Sots Art (short for Socialist Art or Soviet Pop Art), deeply private conceptualism and frighteningly simply realism.

Think deep upon that nipple floating through a crowd of happily prancing, spiritually disillusioned comrades.

May I also recommend a book: Beyond Memory: Soviet Nonconformist Photography and Photo-related Works of Art.