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Mix Soviet Posters with American Pin-ups, Get 2014 Olympics Calendar

Andrei Tarusov promotes a dreamy, nostalgic alternative of the Soviet nightmare.

by
Oleg Atbashian

Bio

January 22, 2014 - 2:00 pm
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Andrei Tarusov

When a young illustrator from Moscow, Andrei Tarusov, decided to picture how the Winter Olympics might have looked in the old USSR if the erstwhile Soviet government hadn’t been so zealous in suppressing the sexuality of its citizens, he let his imagination run wild. The result was an off-the-wall calendar that creatively combined Soviet propaganda poster art with vintage American pin-ups: scantily clad retro-babes in classic pin-up poses but with Soviet enthusiastic fire in their eyes, engaging in winter sports with athletic equipment from the 1940s and 1950s. The pictures were accompanied by rhymed slogans, written by the artist’s friend in the traditional propagandistic style with a new, ironic twist.

Tarusov contacted the Olympic Committee hoping it would sponsor his project in promoting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Whether the committee was protecting its reputation or it feared attacks from feminist groups, the answer was a definitive “nyet.” That’s when the artist decided to go solo with “crowdfunding” and posted the calendar, stripped of any official Olympic trademarks, on the Russian version of Kickstarter.com. His goal was to raise 120,000 rubles (USD $3,554) to cover the printing costs, but the result exceeded his expectations: donations from 1,493 people totaled 1,453,900 rubles (USD $43,060).

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All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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Thank you, Comrade Red Sqaure. Three hails and a shot of vodka, the Stolichnaya type.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
if the erstwhile Soviet government hadn’t been so zealous in suppressing the sexuality of its citizens

Huh? The Russian government is trying to get their citizens to be more sexual what with the falling birth rate and all.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Soviet, not Russian. The USSR was officially quite puritan.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tarusov rips off American pin up artist Gil Elvgren in his Apocalypse calendar but signs his own name. Not a surprise since so much movie/music/book piracy seems to be web sites in Russia.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Western copyright laws have limited enforcement in Russia and some other countries. I was in a country, not Russia, where there was a record and video store that all they had were pirated copies of albums and movies. I'm not trying to characterize these calendars—I don't know enough about them to say they are plagiarized or pirated or not. Either way, he is making good money.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
All the poses were vaguely familiar to me. I only looked up 2. They were Photoshopped/sketch-overs of Elvgren pin ups. I assume they all have the same origins. I think the Apocalypse pin ups are a funny idea, but making your own classic poses needs to be done, not simple theft.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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