Mikhail Roginsky, Artist and his models

"In 1964 Roginsky got onto Soviet posters - street and railway ones, i.e. things crudely done and expressing fairly accurately the essence of Soviet reality. Roginsky found the reality of that time interesting and sought to express it. As a result, having started with poster, he created Soviet pop-art. He made an attempt to display his works, but the exhibition was immediately closed.

In those times this did not surprise or intimidate anyone. It was closed and that was all. And the artist kept working. He got more and more into objects - the things surrounding us in our everyday life. 'During the war (and those were his formative years. -A.G.)', Roginsky recalls, 'there was poverty everywhere and people got into the habit of having simple things. For me those things symbolize Russia'.

Since 1978 the artist has been living in Paris. One year before his emigration he had gone back to documentary art and did a series of five or six works with cans. 'I felt', he explained, 'that I had to go back to what I had begun with, to return to myself'. He left Russia shortly after he had finished that series. Roginsky answer to the question whether the West had any influence on him, was brief: 'Sure'. But he could not say exactly what. 'Everything', he believes. 'A different life, a different atmosphere, a different reality. I am generally very much influenced by where I live, what I see around me, what kind of art I behold and the type of people I rub shoulders with'".

Alexander Glezer

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