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When two worlds collide

A new exhibition at Erarta combines two ideologically opposed concepts.

Published: January 30, 2013 (Issue # 1744)



  • Barykins pieces represent a fusion of Soviet and U.S. poster art styles.
    Photo: FOR SPT

Soviet Pin-Up, which sees the merging of Soviet social posters with American pin-up art, is a genre that couldnt have existed just a few decades ago. But now the style, represented by posters by Valery Barykin, an artist from Nizhny Novgorod, is being showcased and even sold at Erarta Museum and Galleries of Contemporary Art.

In the Soviet Union, social posters portraying happy, rosy-cheeked citizens were used to deliver an all-encompassing range of messages, from warnings on the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption to encouraging workers to look after their tools and young people to exercise regularly, and of course, to promote Communist tenets.

The American pin-up style, which appeared in the 1930s and 40s, was more about sex than socialism, and consisted of printed images of glamour and fashion models or actresses that could be pinned to the wall. This aesthetic reached its peak in the 50s, when magazines were packed with scantily clad beauties.

The most interesting thing about the exposition is collaboration and mixture. It is global art on the one hand, but a focus on Soviet history on the other hand, said Polina Zakharova, director of Erarta Galleries.

Barykins exhibition consists of 17 limited edition posters that can be bought in two sizes: 130 centimeters x 90 centimeters, and 90x60, priced at 25,000 rubles ($830) and 10,000 rubles ($332) each, respectively.

It is our first limited edition project, said Zakharova. This format is now very popular abroad, especially in the U.K. and U.S.

Sales of original posters represent a chance for collectors to buy works signed by the artist.

Poster art is popular because it still gives a sense of exclusivity; you buy an original work, but it is more affordable than a masterpiece, said Zakharova.

While many of the young people visiting the show at Erarta will be familiar with the works of Barykin from the Internet, for their parents, the exhibition represents a chance to see how the Soviet poster has survived and evolved in contemporary art, and to recall its role in the U.S.S.R.

Nowadays, a lot of modern art first appears on the Internet, but still has to be exhibited to prove its significance.

It is a logical release of Internet art, said Zakharova. There are more and more projects every year that begin on the Internet and end up in real exhibition spaces all over the world.

Erarta Galleries is the department of the museum of the same name that promotes modern Russian art for sale. With branches in London, New York, Zurich and one soon to be opened in Hong Kong, Erarta promotes modern Russian art far beyond the boundaries of the former Soviet Union. Forthcoming projects, according to Zakharova, will be realized in collaboration with Dmitry Shorin (whose sculpture for the project I Believe in Angels can now be seen in the galleries) and Maksim Kaetkin, an artist from Perm.

Soviet Pin-Up runs through March 11 at Erarta Museum and Galleries of Contemporary Art, 2, 29th Liniya,

Vasilyevsky Island. Tel. 324 0809.

www.erarta.com. Entrance is free of charge.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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