Sun, 28 Feb 2021

Art always has something to say about political leaders, especially in Russia. We take a look at the most tongue-in-cheek variations on the theme.

Lenin, Stalin, Brezhnev, Gorbachev, Yeltsin and even Putin are not just historical figures, but visual reference points whose images are firmly rooted in popular culture. For an overview of how contemporary artists portray Soviet and Russian heads of state, read on.

1. Vladimir Lenin

V. Komar and A. Melamid. Lenin Hails a Cab in New York, from the series 'Nostalgic Socialist realism', 1993

V. Komar and A. Melamid. Lenin Hails a Cab in New York, from the series 'Nostalgic Socialist realism', 1993

Komar & Melamid Alexander Kosolapov. Coca-Cola, 1983.

Alexander Kosolapov. Coca-Cola, 1983.

vladeyMayana Nasybullova. Rubber Duck Lenin, 2017

Mayana Nasybullova. Rubber Duck Lenin, 2017

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For more photos from the "Lenin for the Soul" series, see here.

2. Joseph Stalin

V. Komar and A. Melamid. Yalta Conference, 1982

V. Komar and A. Melamid. Yalta Conference, 1982

Komar & Melamid Leonid Sokov. Stalin and Marilyn, 1990

Leonid Sokov. Stalin and Marilyn, 1990

A U.S. private collection

3. Nikita Khrushchev

Leonid Sokov. Khrushchev, 1983

Leonid Sokov. Khrushchev, 1983

Zimmerli Art Museum Alexander Kutovoy. Sputnik, 2016

Alexander Kutovoy. Sputnik, 2016

Denis Yesakov

4. Leonid Brezhnev

Dmitri Vrubel. My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love, 1990

Dmitri Vrubel. My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love, 1990

German Federal Archives Eric Bulatov. Brezhnev. Soviet Space, 1977

Eric Bulatov. Brezhnev. Soviet Space, 1977

The Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery, MAGMA

5. Mikhail Gorbachev

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe. Gorbachev as an Indian Woman, 1989

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe. Gorbachev as an Indian Woman, 1989

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe Alexander Kosolapov. Gorbachev (triptych), 1990

Alexander Kosolapov. Gorbachev (triptych), 1990

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6. Boris Yeltsin

Alexander Vinogradov, Vladimir Dubossarsky. Triumph. Yeltsin and Lebed, 1996

Alexander Vinogradov, Vladimir Dubossarsky. Triumph. Yeltsin and Lebed, 1996

Alexander Vinogradov, Vladimir Dubossarsky

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