Out with bourgeois crocodiles! How the Soviets rewrote children's books (Guardian). A new exhibition, A New Childhood: Picture Books from Soviet Russia, will be at the House of Illustration. [more inside]
Ivan Aivazovsky (1817–1900) - "In 1840, Aivazovsky traveled to Rome, where he became friendly with Nikolai Gogol. He also received high praise from the Roman critics, newspapers, and even Pope Gregory XVI. The pope purchased Aivazovsky's 'Chaos' and hung it in the Vatican... [more inside]
Denis Forkas Kostromitin is a Russian artist that considers himself to be a modern symbolist painter (symbolism mentioned previously). The dark and dreamy quality of his work has lead him to be a frequent collaborator with metal musicians. Here he explains the process that led to the cover of Horseback's Half Blood and recently he was commissioned to create the cover of Polish blackened death metal stalwart, Behemoth's, new album, using lead singer Nergal's own blood.
Akhmatova's work ranges from short lyric poems to intricately structured cycles, such as Requiem (1935–40), her tragic masterpiece about the Stalinist terror. Her style, characterised by its economy and emotional restraint, was strikingly original and distinctive to her contemporaries. The strong and clear leading female voice struck a new chord in Russian poetry. Her writing can be said to fall into two periods – the early work (1912–25) and her later work (from around 1936 until her death), divided by a decade of reduced literary output. Her work was condemned and censored by Stalinist authorities and she is notable for choosing not to emigrate, and remaining in Russia, acting as witness to the atrocities around her. [more inside]
The amazing gif compilations of artist Uno Moralez. (previously) NSFW • satanday nite • enlight your conus • lustopsy • z-box • glitter feed • jagged holes • hell pray for us • HolySmoke • Red_Right_Hand • horriblethings • Olle gutS • GlitS • pearlspit • Que Sera • flowers on venus • echosign • blackglow • random frequency • starvation • ... • * • clrd • † •
A visually inventive, super-stylized, 27 minute Soviet cartoon telling of The Little Mermaid / Rusalochka from 1968.
An ever increasing accumulation of film stills from Sergei Bondarchuk's 8-hour long epic film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace [more inside]
The gray Cherkassian cow lived alone in a shed attached to a railroad attendant's tiny house on the vast Soviet grasslands. The cow had a calf, and the railroad attendant's son liked the calf very much. Then the calf was taken away and the cow became very melancholy. She never had a chance to tell her story. This is her story. (Contains Russian animation.) [more inside]
"everything is good that / has a good beginning / and doesn't have an end / the world will die but for us there is no / end!" Thus ends Victory over the Sun (part 1, part 2), the "first Futurist opera". [more inside]
The paintings of Sergey Tyukanov are rich in colors, in characters, in details, delightful the eyes from the first sight. Each work is like a little world, where people live according to different rules. Normal proportions not respected in his works; surrealism characterizes his art the best, and traces of the Russian customs and traditional costumes may be spotted without much difficulty. It all seems to happen in a Russian fairytale or in the nightmare of an artist-because only in the head of an artist’s genius, such a nightmare could be born.
Ana Lee's fashion blog is in Russian but with its insane number of HQ photographs [don't forget to click the "далее"], you won't care. For example, her two posts about Carol Alt almost certainly comprise the greatest documentation of that model's career to be found anywhere in the world.
Vintage Turkish-Russian advertising posters and graphics | unusual matches and match head sculptures |marbling on grafikerler.net, a Turkish graphic design site worth exploring.
Paper Art by Alexei Lyapunov and Lena Ehrlich, Russian artists who make detailed and fun paper crafts. Site is in Russian, but navigation is simple. Check out the brilliance of Young Michael, The King, and We Are the Champions, among numerous others. [more inside]
"This is a regular Russian school biology textbook owned by some Russian school. He has modified some illustrations so now it’s hard to say sometimes what was there originally and what has appeared as a result of his imagination."
The Amber Room found? German treasure hunters using electromagnetic pulse measurements are "90% sure" the Russian "Eighth Wonder of the World" was buried by the Nazi's in a man-made cavern 20 meters underground near the village of Deutschneudorf (map), but it will take "..until Easter to get into the chamber because it may contain booby traps and has to be secured by explosives experts.. The chamber is likely to be part of a labyrinth of storage rooms that the Nazis built." Russia is eyeing its return, "If, hypothetically speaking, the room still exists."
The livejournal group ru_graphic has been showcasing great artists for years, such as soamo, desmonych, floksystar, malli-ly, olliwander, omie-yomie, zuza1, ya-ya, varka, solntsev-gleb, adul and names.
"This was painted by a person with a rare and severe mental disorder. He was constantly seeing his own fantasies all around him. He also had a certain phobia..." (via Digg). The image is an imperfect reproduction of a particular postcard dated 1972. A blogger (in Russian) claims his psychiatry professor found one aspect of this eerie painting that reveals the patient's disorder. Allegedly, only one of his students in the past 15 years has figured it out. The psychoanalytic mystery has piqued the interest (in Russian) of the online community. A number of supplemental hints from the professor and thousands of guesses later, the case remains unsolved. Skeptics have already decried the mystery as a traffic-boosting hoax, but a few signs still point to its authenticity. Most notably, the artist's reproduction of another classic painting contains the following note: "transferred in 1990 from Moscow mental hospital."
Andrey Kuznetsov makes delightful lubki (sing. lubok), a form of Russian folk art, out of some well-known modern movies. Some information (in English) about the medium and its origins with many examples can be seen here (warning: Java). Shamelessly ganked from AskMe. Thanks jonson!
It takes a long time to load, but Kol-Belov's "PU's_tota" is just so creepy and bizarre and awesome with really cool music. The artist is obviously deeply weird, also highlighted in the series of shorts, "Self-Destructing Organisms." There's also a game. These are Flash animations. Nearly all of them contain a modest amount of cartoon violence/gore; may not be safe for work. Also, the guy really loves his industrial music.
The Emperor's Bunker. "The Japanese, with sadness and irony, stressed that Hirohito couldn't even speak properly. This was partly to do with the fact that he didn't have to speak - people spoke in his name and he was isolated from real life". "The Sun", the third part in Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov's 'Men of Power' tetralogy after the gloom of Moloch (1999), about Hitler and Eva Braun, and the despairing tones of "Taurus" (2001), focused on the wheelchair-bound Lenin in his death throes, "The Sun" seems almost upbeat. This, after all, is a film about reconciliation. More inside.
Traditional Russian fairytales with beautiful illustrations depicting scenes from the stories.
A large catalog of interesting handmade Russian chess sets. Some that caught my eye: Soviet vs. American; "Soviet-Fascist Chess" (note the kings); and American vs. Russian politicians (note the American queen).
Happy birthday, Kasimir Malevich! The Guggenheim has curated an exhibition (currently in Berlin and coming to New York in May) to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of this Russian avant-garde painter who, among other things, was a major influence on El Lissitzky and worked alongside Liubov Popova. The story of how the show itself came to be -- featuring many works never before seen in the West -- makes for rather dramatic reading, to boot. (NYTimes link; reg. req.) [more inside]
The Russian Avant-Garde Book is an online version of the MoMA exhibit, featuring 112 books originally published in Russia during the intensely creative period between 1910 and 1934, before Stalin outlawed any style but social realism. The site is separated into three chronological themes and includes examples of futurist works, constructivist graphic design, children's books, propaganda, photography and photomontage, revolutionary imagery, architecture and industry, war themes, folk art and judaica...