28.4.11

Communist Art

Growing up my father was active in the Polish Solidarity, Anti- Communist Movement in Toronto.
I remember going to demonstrations, hunger strikes, meetings and more meetings.  I never really understood much about it except that the communists were bad and were making life difficult for the people of my fathers mother land. 
When we would march around the Polish Embassy in Toronto I imagined that there were communists hiding in the building- scared to come out because of us. 
In Prague they have a Communist Museum ironically above a Mc Donalds.
I took these photos yesterday at the National Gallery of Prague- where they have several works of communist art in both the permanent collection and the temporary exhibits.
 These two are by: Tian Younghua made in 2008

Plebeian Courtyard I, 2009
By Jakub Geltner


I don't think the photos do justice to this piece, which is quite large and to me represents an exaggerated image of Soviet era apartment blocks which are still very prevalent in Eastern Europe.

Poster

Petr Stembera

Poster

I love this poster by Alena Cermakova called:
We Produce More- We Live Better- made in the early 1950's

Eduard Stavinoha
Listening To The Speech Of K. Gottwald Feb. 21, 1948

I love political art because it is so layered and passionate-

Do you enjoy art work with a political message?

14 comments:

Kristin H said...

Absolutely. I don't think artist have to be bound by a political message but I do think a message is very welcome! Art has a lot to say that can wake our actions and feelings in a different way than any "standardized" political agenda can.

Prague, ah, miss that city. Ages since I went there. How funny it is situated at the top of McDonalds...the irony of it all.
Have a fab day.

Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} said...

Ah, "communist art" almost an oxymoron. LOVE it, though. I have a thing for communist propaganda and search the web regularly for it. I think the posters are so interesting.

It is funny how much of a communist phobia people still have. I never considered why I disliked communism. I still do dislike it, but working with international students opened my eyes one day to the fact that 45% of my friends were total commies. I reasoned that communists weren't so bad at all, quite normal actually. But Communism and its leadership...not so much.

Bossy Betty said...

Wow! I especially love the picture of the apartment building. I agree, this art is layered and passionate and interesting because of that.

Mama Gone Green said...

I love Prague as well and wish that I was there right now too!

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Wow, Ren, what an interesting post, especially because you have a personal connection & story to add. I really loved seeing all the art work. Thanks so much for taking us all along on this fascinating adventure.

la petite coquine said...

I think art with a message and better yet, full on propaganda is fascinating. Growing up, I always felt like Communism was a wonderful idealistic system that had its failings in human nature, and could never understand the fear that was associated with a economic model!

Phoenix said...

I do enjoy political art as art, not necessarily because of its political nature, for I'm always well aware that (for most things anyways) there is more than one side, and political art usually just feels like propaganda. As propaganda is designed to manipulate by pulling certain heart strings, I am always a little wary of it. I appreciate it from a distance but I do want to maintain a certain outsider's perspective when it comes to political points of view.

Great post, very thought provoking. :)

Nuit said...

hi Ren! I like this type of art, very deep and strong, tells many stories. I loved this post! xo

Ola said...

Communist art will probably be appreciated after many many years, if ever...
Although I like the representation of the houses, eventhough I see similiar all around me:)

Valarie said...

HI Ren,
So glad you're having a great time in Prague. I really like art with a political message. It's an artform of expression which seems to be very accepted by 'The Regime" ...well as long as it's pro-regime. I think it also stops time and you can reflect in that moment of what was happening politically. Continue to have a great time.

Monica said...

Thoroughly enjoyed this collection.

I used to be big on political art, made my own 'statements' too. Nowadays I'm keener on emotional work. As a personal preference, but political messages through art are an essential cultural force.

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

I'm not really into political art, but every once in while it's good to see. I think I'd probably like it more if I was old enough to actually really remember the Soviet days... But I don't remember much - my childhoos memories are all bright and sunny lol

So you're in Prague now? Enjoy the city, it's so gorgeous! I loved it when I tarveled there just this February!

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Am unsure regarding "communist art" - political art is such a touchy subject in general. It's not my cup of tea, but if the message is a positive one I always try to learn and be inspired. Have a sweet weekend. xx

Krystal said...

very interesting!!! i remember visiting sarajevo and mostar and almost gawking at all of the communist blocks/buildings or whatever they are called - that also still had all these spots where mortars hit them

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