Boris Orlov, born in 1941, is one of key figures in contemporary Russian art, an outstanding sculptor, the inventor and an important member of sots-art movement.
Sots-art was born in the 1970s as a witty alternative to the academic socialist realism. Instead of official laudatory aesthetics the sots-artists offered no less pathetic but also an ironical and intellectual style. In Boris Orlov’s oeuvre this irony has never been trivial. For him the Soviet era wasn’t just a plain set of visual symbols but always a starting point for meditation on world history of art. That’s why in the artist’s works the imagery of ancient kingdoms rhymes with the spirit of the Soviet Empire, and the service ribbons refer to the architectonics of Russian avant-garde.
Having once chosen his creative strategy, Boris Orlov stays loyal to it for more than thirty years.
Today he still actively works along the same guidelines. His concept hasn’t become outdated; on the contrary, it can be easily applied to the present-day reality – the only thing you need is to substitute modern presidents for the leaders of the USSR.
The Soviet era is fading from memory, but the sots-art ideas are still relevant.