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Often referred to as “Soviet Pop Art”, Sots Art or soc art (Russian : Соц-арт, short for Socialist Art) originated in the Soviet Union in the early 1970s as a reaction against the official aesthetic doctrine of the state— socialist realism, which was marked by reverential depictions of workers, peasants living happily in their communes, and, during Stalinism, a young, fit Joseph Stalin.
Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid are credited with the invention of the term "Sots Art"; in an analogy with the Western pop art movement, which incorporated the kitchy elements of the Western mass culture, sots art capitalized on the imagery of the Socialist mass culture. 
According to Arthur Danto, Sots Art's attack on official styles is similar in intent to American pop art and German capitalist realism. 
Socialist realism is a style of idealized realistic art that was developed in the Soviet Union and was the official style in that country between 1932 and 1988, as well as in other socialist countries after World War II. Socialist realism is characterized by the depiction of communist values, such as the emancipation of the proletariat. Despite its name, the figures in the style are very often highly idealized, especially in sculpture, where it often leans heavily on the conventions of classical sculpture. Although related, it should not be confused with social realism, a type of art that realistically depicts subjects of social concern, or other forms of "realism" in the visual arts. Socialist realism was made with an extremely literal and obvious meaning, usually showing an idealized USSR. Socialist realism was usually devoid of complex artistic meaning or interpretation.
Social realism is the term used for work produced by painters, printmakers, photographers, writers and filmmakers that aims to draw attention to the real socio-political conditions of the working class as a means to critique the power structures behind these conditions. While the movement's characteristics vary from nation to nation, it almost always utilizes a form of descriptive or critical realism.
The culture of the Soviet Union passed through several stages during the Soviet Union's 69-year existence. It was contributed to by people of various nationalities from every single one of fifteen union republics, although a majority of the influence was made by Russians. The Soviet state supported cultural institutions, but also carried out strict censorship.
Komar and Melamid is a tandem team of Russian-born American conceptualist artists Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid. In an artists' statement they said that "even if only one of us creates some of the projects and works, we usually sign them together. We are not just an artist, we are a movement." Both artists were born in Moscow, but emigrated to Israel in 1977 and subsequently to New York in 1978. The pair's co-authorship of works ceased in 2003–2004.
The term Soviet Nonconformist Art refers to Soviet art produced in the former Soviet Union from 1953 to 1986 outside of the rubric of Socialist Realism. Other terms used to refer to this phenomenon are "underground art" or "unofficial art".
Heroic realism is art used as propaganda. Examples include the Socialist realism style associated with Socialist states, and sometimes the similar art style associated with Fascism. Its characteristics are realism and the depiction of figures as ideal types or symbols, often with explicit rejection of modernism in art.
Censorship in the Soviet Union was pervasive and strictly enforced.
The Bulldozer Exhibition was an unofficial art exhibition on a vacant lot in the Belyayevo urban forest by Moscow and Leningrad avant-garde artists on September 15, 1974. The exhibition was forcefully broken-up by a large police force that included bulldozers and water cannons, hence the name.
The Zhdanov Doctrine was a Soviet cultural doctrine developed by Central Committee secretary Andrei Zhdanov in 1946. It proposed that the world was divided into two camps: the "imperialistic", headed by the United States; and "democratic", headed by the Soviet Union. The main principle of the Zhdanov Doctrine was often summarized by the phrase "The only conflict that is possible in Soviet culture is the conflict between good and best". Zhdanovism soon became a Soviet cultural policy, meaning that Soviet artists, writers and intelligentsia in general had to conform to the party line in their creative works. Under this policy, artists who failed to comply with the government's wishes risked persecution. The policy remained in effect until the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953.
Oleg Vassiliev was a Russian painter associated with the Soviet Nonconformist Art style. Vassiliev emigrated to the United States, arriving in New York City in 1990 and later lived and worked in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Erik Bulatov is a Russian artist, who was raised in Moscow. His father was a communist party official who died in World War II at Pskov, and his mother fled Poland at age 15 in support of the Russian Revolution. Bulatov's works are in the major public and private collections in Europe, Russia and United States. In 2008 Bulatov became an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts.
The music of the Soviet Union varied in many genres and epochs. The majority of it was considered to be part of the Russian culture, but other national cultures from the Republics of the Soviet Union made significant contributions as well. The Soviet state supported musical institutions, but also carried out content censorship. According to Lenin, "Every artist, everyone who considers himself an artist, has the right to create freely according to his ideal, independently of everything. However, we are Communists and we must not stand with folded hands and let chaos develop as it pleases. We must systemically guide this process and form its result."
The Moscow Conceptualist, or Russian Conceptualist, movement began with the Sots art of Komar and Melamid in the early 1970s, and continued as a trend in Russian art into the 1980s. It attempted to subvert socialist ideology using the strategies of conceptual art and appropriation art. It was an artistic counterpoint to Socialist Realism, and the artists experimented aesthetically in a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, performance, and literature.
Svetlana Boym was a Russian-American cultural theorist, visual and media artist, playwright and novelist. She was the Curt Hugo Reisinger Professor of Slavic and Comparative Literatures at Harvard University. She was an associate of the Graduate School of Design and Architecture at Harvard University. Much of her work focused on developing the new theoretical concept of the off-modern.
Alexander Melamid is a Russian-born Conceptualist and performance artist.
Genia Chef is a German-Russian artist living in Berlin. He is considered the founder of Post-Historicism, an art movement that combines elements of traditional painting with aesthetic experiments and interprets current events in the form of a new mythology. Germany.
Soviet art is a form of visual art that was produced after the October Socialist Revolution of 1917 in Soviet Russia (1917—1922) and the Soviet Union (1922—1991).
The year 1969 was marked by many events that left an imprint on the history of Soviet and Russian Fine Arts.
The Stalin Monument in The Hague, Netherlands – is an art object, conceptual bust of Joseph Stalin, created by Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid. Stalin's bust is placed in a phone booth. It was opened in 1986. The monument is located near the museums, Museon and The Hague Municipal Museum, The Hague Museum of Photography.
Evgeny Dobrenko is a Russian historian. Born in Odessa, he moved to Moscow and worked at Moscow State University and the Russian State University of Humanities. He emigrated to the US and worked at Duke University, Stanford University, UC Irvine, Amherst College and NYU. He then moved to the UK, and worked at universities in Nottingham and Sheffield. He is now professor of Russian studies at the University of Sheffield.