Mosaics of Labor

I find these monumental Soviet era mosaics very attractive and thought provoking – the bright colors, the immense detail in the work, and of course the stories they tell of an era that has ended. They are of course propaganda mosaics – but if we can set that aside for a minute and just appreciate the intricate work that has gone into making them – they really are quite remarkable. Ex-USSR countries like Georgia and Ukraine seem to be filled with these mosaics, though many are in a dilapidated state.

Most of these are celebrating labor since working class people were supposed to be the ruling class according to Karl Marx. These mosaics were public art and decorated the exterior walls of school, factories, government building, and residential blocks, and celebrated the everyday working-class heroes on a larger than life scale. Much of this public art and cultural heritage of an era has been destroyed after the end of communism – but the ones that remain serve as a testament to that era.

(Images courtesy Socialist Realism Art websites & Instagram)

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