From Lenin to Putin: Russian leaders in contemporary art (PICS)

Vladey; Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe; Press photo
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
Alexander Kosolapov. Coca-Cola, 1983.
Mayana Nasybullova. Rubber Duck Lenin, 2017

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

2. Joseph Stalin

V. Komar and A. Melamid. Yalta Conference, 1982
Leonid Sokov. Stalin and Marilyn, 1990

3. Nikita Khrushchev

Leonid Sokov. Khrushchev, 1983
Alexander Kutovoy. Sputnik, 2016

4. Leonid Brezhnev

Dmitri Vrubel. My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love, 1990
Eric Bulatov. Brezhnev. Soviet Space, 1977

5. Mikhail Gorbachev

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe. Gorbachev as an Indian Woman, 1989
Alexander Kosolapov. Gorbachev (triptych), 1990

6. Boris Yeltsin

Alexander Vinogradov, Vladimir Dubossarsky. Triumph. Yeltsin and Lebed, 1996
Dagnini. “I’m done” from the series “Windows”, 2018

7. Vladimir Putin

Alexander Kosolapov. Mona Lisa, 2020
Alexey Sergienko. “President. Kind-Hearted Man” series, 2012

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