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Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро
"Члены Политбюро / Members of the Politburo"

at Russkoee Polee / The Russian Field, studio Evgenij Kozlov, Leningrad, Fontanka 145 (1990)


Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe is well-known for his reworked posters of "Members of the Politburo".
Official posters of the upper class of the Soviet nomenklatura were printed for a mass public in large editions and sold at bookstores for a nominal price. Whether they were actually bought by the target audience remains a matter for speculation, but in the case of Mamyshev they proved to be of great stimulation for his artistic imagination. In 1990, he offered ten of these posters with a dedication to "beloved artist Evgenij Kozlov" and it is highly likely that these were his first embellished Politburo posters.


In his generous transformations of the dry and humourless photo portraits he might have been inspired by Evgenij Kozlov's remake of Lenin — "Lenin with red eyes" more >>, which as the title says, features Lenin with red eyes. It is no secret that Vladimir Lenin was both ruthless and relentless within his position; a written note being enough to eliminate people of his choice. Kozlov experimented with this authentic trait of Lenin's character, visualizing it with red colour instead of white around the iris on busts, posters and reproductions. In 1989 he started to assemble these and other objects in the "Lenin's room" — the bathroom of his studio —, which also became a location for photo settings with Vladislav Mamyshev. more >>


However, Mamyshev's transformations of the Politburo members are carried out in a more light-hearted spirit. They give evidence to his pleasure in feminising a boring and unattractive male world deprived of charm or elegance and show how easily this can be adjusted! The role models for these transformations are famous actresses and singers, notably from the West, such as Gina Lollobrigida and Sofia Loren, but also Alla Pugacheva, a star in Mamyshev's own country. When we look at the politicians, we notice that they remain bureaucrats albeit now disguised with heavy makeup and glamorous hairdos. For instance, Viktor Petrovich Nikonov, deputy minister for Agriculture of the Soviet Union, was in his mid-fifties when he suddenly became Elisabeth Taylor, by the will of Vladislav Mamyshev, who signed the poster with "I did my best, I, Marilyn Manroe, painted it". These less-than-perfect transformations are funny in their innocent appeal.


Evgenij Kozlov hung them in a corner of his studio next to his painting "Love for the Wonderful" in pairs, with the largest poster — Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union between 1985 and 1991— on top. In orthodox Russian homes, one of the corners of a room is the "red corner" (krasnyi ugol), a sacred place traditionally reserved for icons. The Soviet propaganda tried to substitute worship with socialist zeal, and Kozlov's hanging was an ironic comment on this profane "cult of personality". By the way, unlike Mikhail Gorbachev, many former colleagues of the "General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union" continued their political career after 1991, although, we may assume, without official posters.


The 10 posters show the following members of the Politburo (top-bottom, left to right — handwritten captions by Vladislav Mamyshev after the hyphon)

  • Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev — Marilyn 90, Евгению Козлову от Владика Monro (to Evgeni Kozlov from Vladislav Monroe)
  • Anatoly Ivanovich Lukyanov. Любимому художнику Евгению Козлову Marilyn Monroe (To beloved artist Evgenij Kozlov – Marilyn Monroe)
  • Nikolai Vladimirovich Talyzin — Софи Лорен / Marilyn Monroe (Sofia Loren / Marilyn Monroe)
  • Eduard Amvrossievich Shevardnadze — Джина Лоллобриджида / Marilyn Monroe (Gina Lollobrigida / Marilyn Monroe)
  • ? no picture available
  • Yury Dmitrievich Maslyukov
  • Alexander Vladimirovich Vlasov — А. Пугачёва / Marilyn Monroe (A. Pugacheva/ Marilyn Monroe)
  • Vladimir Vasilievich Sherbitsky — Красота / Marilyn Monroe (Beauty / Marilyn Monroe)
  • Viktor Petrovich Nikonov — Элизабет Тейлор / Старалсь, рисовала Мэрилин Манро (Elisabeth Taylor / I did my best , I, Marilyn Manroe, painted it)
  • Zaiko (Lev Nikolaevich Zaikov) — Е. Соловей / M. M.(E. Solovei / M. M.)

In 1991, nine of 10 posters (M. Gorbachev being omitted) went to the exhibition "Geopolitika", where they were presented as "Eminent Scholars of Monrology".
more >>



Vladislav Mamyshev-Monro • Владислав Мамышев-Монро "Члены политбюро" / "Members of the Politbureau" mixed media, offset print, paper, 1990. Gift to Evgenij Kozlov by the artist. Photo: Hannelore Fobo, summer of 1990

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро
"Члены политбюро" / "Members of the Politbureau"
mixed media, offset print, paper, 1990.
Gift to Evgenij Kozlov by the artist.
Photo: Hannelore Fobo, summer of 1990
Russkoee Polee, studio Evgenij Kozlov, Leningrad / St. Petersburg




 Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev. Евгению Козлову от Владика Monroe (To Evgenij Kozlov from Vladik Monroe) Photo: Hannelore Fobo

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро
Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev. Евгению Козлову от Владика Monroe (To Evgenij Kozlov from Vladik Monroe). Marylin-90
Photo: Hannelore Fobo



Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро Anatoly Ivanovich Lukyanov. Любимому художнику Евгению Козлову Marilyn Monroe (To beloved artist Evgenij Kozlov – Marilyn Monroe) Photo: Hannelore Fobo

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро
Anatoly Ivanovich Lukyanov. Любимому художнику Евгению Козлову Marilyn Monroe (To beloved artist Evgenij Kozlov – Marilyn Monroe)
Photo: Hannelore Fobo



Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро Nikolai Vladimirovich Talyzin — Софи Лорен / Marilyn Monroe (Sofia Loren / Marilyn Monroe) Photo: Hannelore Fobo

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро
Nikolai Vladimirovich Talyzin — Софи Лорен / Marilyn Monroe (Sofia Loren / Marilyn Monroe)
Photo: Hannelore Fobo



Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро Eduard Amvrossievich Shevardnadze — Джина Лоллобриджида / Marilyn Monroe (Gina Lollobrigida / Marilyn Monroe) Photo: Hannelore Fobo

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро
Eduard Amvrossievich Shevardnadze — Джина Лоллобриджида / Marilyn Monroe (Gina Lollobrigida / Marilyn Monroe)
Photo: Hannelore Fobo



Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро Yury Dmitrievich Maslyukov Photo: Hannelore Fobo

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро
Yury Dmitrievich Maslyukov
Photo: Hannelore Fobo



Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро Alexander Vladimirovich Vlasov — А. Пугачёва / Marilyn Monroe (A. Pugacheva/ Marilyn Monroe) Photo: Hannelore Fobo

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро
Alexander Vladimirovich Vlasov — А. Пугачёва / Marilyn Monroe (A. Pugacheva/ Marilyn Monroe)
Photo: Hannelore Fobo



Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро Vladimir Vasilievich Sherbitsky — Красота / Marilyn Monroe (Beauty / Marilyn Monroe) Photo: Hannelore Fobo

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро
Vladimir Vasilievich Sherbitsky — Красота / Marilyn Monroe (Beauty / Marilyn Monroe)
Photo: Hannelore Fobo



Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро Viktor Petrovich Nikonov — Элизабет Тейлор / Старалсь, рисовала Мэрилин Манро (Elisabeth Taylor / I did my best , I, Marilyn Manroe, painted it) Photo: Hannelore Fobo

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро
Viktor Petrovich Nikonov — Элизабет Тейлор / Старалaсь, рисовала Мэрилин Манро (Elisabeth Taylor / I did my best , I, Marilyn Manroe, painted it)
Photo: Hannelore Fobo




Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро Zaiko (Lev Nikolaevich Zaikov) — Е. Соловей / M. M.(E. Solovei / M. M.) Photo: Hannelore Fobo

Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe • Владислав Мамышев-Монро
Zaiko (Lev Nikolaevich Zaikov) — Е. Соловей / M. M.(E. Solovei / M. M.)
Photo: Hannelore Fobo


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