My series of Pushkin drawings began purely by chance.
The Pushkin Russian Language Institute wanted illustrations for their new brochure. And for some reason they asked me. I resisted for a long time, saying I didn’t do those sorts of illustrations. And also that I didn’t want to and could not. But the institute, by which I mean the sweet little woman representing it, turned out to be very insistent. I finally surrendered after it was put in terms of, “Please, anything, as long as it’s about Pushkin.”
In the end, I did not produce anything worthwhile. I made a few drawings where Pushkin was randomly inserted into some scenes from modern life: in a crowd of students with their iPhones, on a skateboard, wearing a backpack. My plan was to use these drawings to demonstrate the absurdity of their request, and that they had picked the wrong artist. Surely such a distinguished institution, where foreigners are taught the “great and mighty Russian language,” would kill me for such mockery of our treasured heritage.
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My Pushkin, Our Pushkin
Two Miracles of Russian Love Poetry
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