PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, UNITED STATES
The Nostalgic Socialist Realism series is perhaps the best-known of Komar and Melamid's work: dark, sinister and yet also quite funny, these provocative and playful images lampoon the clichéd visual vocabulary of the authoritarian regime the duo had left behind when they emigrated to the United States in 1978.
But as much as the image relates to the specific horrors of the KGB practice of visiting late at night to abduct their targets, the artists were nonetheless wary of absolving non-Soviet systems. 'Fear governs the Soviet Union in the same way it does the United States', they argued: 'The KGB and Stalin are only symbols personifying an ageless social phobia...'
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