The work of Igor Baskakov is becoming popular with Russian
collectors, following the succes de scandale surrounding the
exhibition of his works at the First International Moscow
Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2005. A number of members
of the Putin government have since bought his work, which
has only increased his popularity.
'Igor Baskakov received a very traditional art training,
in portraits, drawing and landscapes, but his work subverts
that tradition. He grew up during the period of Perestroika,
when the West — its politics, its business, its culture —
was just beginning the assault on the USSR.
As a student Baskakov worked with the Union of Soviet Poster
Artists, the industrial arts group that had once been one
of the most influential manipulators of communist ideology.
Baskakov was at the very centre of this maelstrom, working
on the side of Communism while experiencing the onslaught
of Capitalism. His work subsumes these two opposing ideologies;
he takes the advertising logos and slogans of Western multinationals
and refashions them in the Soviet propaganda style. The result
appears to be a joke at first, like Warhol’s soup cans, but
what it says about the end of an empire is still painful for
many Russians, and its commentary on the new empire of Capitalism
is perhaps not so funny even for the invading Westerners.'
Passport Magazine, Moscow, February issue, 2005
der Tourist-Information, Bad Breisig, Germany,
Projects at First Moscow Biennale of Contemporary
Art, January 2005
Gallery Eleven at the German Centre, Moscow,