Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ilya Repin's Unexpected Visitors

Ilya Yefimovich Repin 
(1844 - 1930)
Chuhuiv Ukraine 
& Kuokkala Saint Petersburg Russia

1&2.Unexpected Visitors

3&4.One of you betrays me

5,6,7&8.Follow me, Satan

9.Moscow 1812 Siege

10.Propagandist arrested

11.Ivan Grozny having killed his son Ivan
Many years ago I used the second version of Unexpected Visitors (or They did not expect him) as the basis for a series of backdrops for Tamar Schumann’s dance theater piece Alexander Nevsky, which employed Prokofiev’s score for the Eisenstein film of that name.  As I painted my over life size variations on Repin’s theme, I got to know this painting and its predecessor very well, and now hope to repay my debt to this masterwork in some small measure by presenting it here now.  The other paintings I’ve chosen to place after seem related to them (in my sometime questionably educated view.)   The Russian Government has been exiling political dissidents to Siberia for centuries (as a child I naively associated this practice solely with the Soviets) and continues doing so to this day.  Likewise the Russian mania for bureaucracy didn’t start with the Revolution (any more than the grotesque devotion to Orthodoxy ended there!) 

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