Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Komar and Melamid

There is a great theme that will slowly emerge in these posts, and that theme is democracy.

I'm forever on the look-out for it, which is why I was happy to stumble over the work of two Russian scientists, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid. In true Renaissance style, the Russian scientists are also painters. They are also, surprisingly for Russians, democratic and deeply sardonic. These two strands fuse into their project: which is to establish a democratic basis for art.

To do this, they travelled around the major countries, like America and Finland, and simply asked the inhabitants that they encounetered what they liked most and least in a painting. The results were tabulated, and Komar and Melamid set about reproducing the most and least popular paintings. They are all available for viewing at:

There are some wonderful pictures. I recommend particularly Italy's least popular: a lower torso, suggestively that of Christ, dangling phallus, thighs punctured by darts; on the rear wall, a graffiti of the Power Rangers, and a framed painting of Elvis Presley.


At 2:26 AM, Anonymous Andrew Haydon said...

That's much more likely to be St Sebastian. And you link doesn't work. Apart from that, this is lovely and super.

At 2:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And seriously, does almost every country in the world really want a pastoral scene with the mountain on the right more than anything else? That's a remarkable find.

At 2:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, correction, * with a mountain on the left*


Post a Comment

<< Home