Friday, June 19, 2009

‘A Cobblestone Is the Weapon of the Proletariat’ – Ivan Shadr


To those who are astonished at the appearance here at this blog of a well-known work of 1920s Soviet Art, I say it’s often astonishing how successfully the message of powerful art can transcend political ideology.

The theme here is resistance, determination, the sheer will to overcome with whatever the tools at hand. Sculptor Ivan Shadr (real name Ivan Dmitriyevich Ivanov) might have put his talent to work in the service of Soviet Art, unfortunately, but what he produced is no less powerful for that – not at least when his theme is so universal.

The young man here could just as easily be resisting Czarist cossacks, Soviet tanks or Iranian militia – the key qua art is that he is resisting.  And not without hope.

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