Vladimir Dubossarsky (b.1964) and Alexander Vinogradov (b.1963)
Signed l.r. and dated 96; also signed and dated on the reverse
Oil on canvas 140 by 180.3cm., 55 1/8 by 71in.
Moscow Fine Art Gallery, Moscow
Collection of John L. Stewart, USA Phillips, the John L Stewart Collection of Russian Art, 13th October 2007
Important Private Collection, UK
Moscow Fine Art Gallery, The Project for the Russian Language Edition of Playboy Magazine, Dubossarsky and Vinogradov, 1996
The bold, bright paintings by artist duo Dubossarsky and Vinogradov are most often closely associated with Post-Soviet Pop Art, which was not so much a movement, but a diverse constellation of artists exploring the legacies of both international Pop Art and Sots Art. The traditional painterly style they employed throughout the long years of their collaboration is a constant visual language, initially borrowed from high Soviet Realism and later a hallmark of their work.
‘Younger Brother’, was first shown in a key early exhibition which helped to propel them to the front of artistic developments in Russia during the 1990s. Called ‘Project for the Russian Language Edition of Playboy Magazine’ it took place in Moscow in 1996 at the Fine Art Gallery, the second major solo show by this duo and just two years after they began to work together.
The idyllic setting of the figures in an apple orchard quickly gives way to a different reality. A young girl is being punished by her father, watched on by her young brother; the protagonist from whom the painting takes its title. With childlike fascination, the little boy holds his toy bunny watching the scene from behind a tree. The bunny, both a childhood comforter, and at the same time is the famous logo of Playboy magazine, and a reference to the series to which this painting belongs. The painting is a reflection on lost innocence which can be understood on many levels, perhaps most obviously it is a critique on the abrupt arrival of capitalism in Russia at the end of the Soviet Union.