Olga Soldatova

Milkmaid, 2004
mixed media
143x75 см


mixed media

This work addresses the aesthetics of the heyday of the Soviet Empire with the detachment of a scientist. The author’s perspective is full of respect for the level of skill and admiration for the beauty of the products of the departed era, without any reservation or judgement. Depicting the subjects of monumental mosaics of Moscow metro with the use of fragile handicraft materials – beading, embroidery, semi-precious stone inlays – Soldatova imparts a post-modernist lightness to the colossal figures of the past.
In Milkmaid the image of a strong athletic woman worker fits the 1930s ideal of female beauty, but does not attempt to recreate it. Olga Soldatova uses this image to bring out the close connection of Stalinist Empire style to its original sources – mosaic ornamentation of Pompeii or mosaic art of Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, thereby aligning the legacy of the ‘grand Soviet style’ with pieces of the priceless heritage of the world art history. The small, scaled-down format of Soldatova’s works betrays the irony of this alignment, because it is too early in terms of art history to deliver such a verdict.