For understandable reasons, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation has a difficult association with the past. This may be why it commissioned St Petersburg-based artist Igor Petrygin-Rodionov to give it and its founding fathers a makeover before Russia’s parliamentary elections last Sunday.
In an interview with a Russian magazine, Petrygin-Rodionov explained that he wanted to make the party appeal to a younger generation of voters. His solution? Give the icons of Communist history a makeover…
The artist described Bolshevik party founder Vladimir Lenin as ‘a character full of energy, maybe even a sex symbol’. Which is certainly true if you like your ideologues to look like something from a Topman catalogue.
Karl Marx gets a similar treatment. Tight jeans, red T-shirt, leather jacket, and an outsized copy of Das Kapital make him the very picture of a right-on cultural-studies lecturer – and one as resilient as the Terminator, it seems.
Stalin fares rather better. Given that, as a young man, he was photographed looking as if he’d walked out of a Dazed & Confused fashion shoot, little cosmetic change was required. All Petrygin-Rodionov has done is substitute the dashing mass-murderer’s pipe for an E-cigarette.
When outsider art entered the mainstream