Erarta Galleries Launches ‘Soviet Pin-Up’ Exhibition


Erarta Galleries Hong Kong is pleased to present Valery Barykin’s solo exhibition entitled ‘Soviet Pin-Up’, whose work will be displayed in conjunction with Art Basel throughout the month of March.

The exhibition will feature a number of specially made limited edition prints, which are reminiscent of the 1940’s and 1950’s American pin-ups blended with Soviet Russian propaganda advertisements. Known for his unique style, Valery Barykin’s prints contrast the aesthetic of American Pin-Up culture and its heightened sexuality with the sharp-edged and saturated colors of Soviet Russia’s propaganda posters.

Born in 1966 in Ivanovo, Russia, Valery Barykin’s unique style emerged from his upbringing in a strict military family and his years as a soldier in the Soviet army. The socialist advertisements of his youth and the slow trickling in of mass-produced American pin-up photographs that made their way into the country after the fall of the Soviet Union helped to develop his distinctive style. He began combining these two opposites into his own illustrated scenes depicting the US’ liberal sexual freedom juxtaposed against strict Soviet propaganda extolling the values of Communism.

The women in his works often resemble Soviet Russian film stars such as Lyudmila Gurcgenko and Natalya Fateeva who are sometimes scantily clad and the object of attention. Barykin displays his gorgeous and provocative women in unexpected everyday familiar situations as they enthusiastically perform their stereotyped roles and female duties.

Gillian Au, Gallery Manager, Erarta Galleries Hong Kong states; ‘Valery Barykin’s blending of American and Soviet stereotypes as well as the addition of tongue-in-cheek slogans and exaggerated expressions of the protagonists creates fun and flirty images that dance playfully around the serious subject matter of sexism and socialist reform. The ‘Soviet Pin-Up’ exhibit that Erarta Galleries Hong Kong has put together includes a number of Barykin’s most famous prints and create a snapshot of this famed Russian artist’s work over the last three decades.’

The ‘Soviet Pin-Up’ exhibition at Erarta Galleries will showcase such works as ‘Join Us At The Construction Site’, ‘The First Female Astronaut’, ‘How Hard Have You Worked Today’ and ‘Share Your Experience With The Youth.’

Meesha Chang, Erarta Galleries’ Global Director, adds: ‘We are thrilled to be hosting ‘Soviet Pin-Up’ by Valery Barykin as a solo exhibition in line with Art Basel in Hong Kong throughout the month of March. This launch marks our third exhibition since Erarta Galleries Hong Kong’s grand opening in November 2014. We have been excited with the feedback and attention our fifth global gallery is getting in the Asian art market as art lovers and collectors are becoming more aware of the depth and value of contemporary Russian art.’ 

Erarta Contemporary Art Galleries aims to introduce contemporary Russian artists to the global market and, as the largest group dedicated to Russian contemporary art, offers clients the opportunity to acquire works created by more than 150 artists from over 30 regions of the country. Indeed, Erarta’s core strength is its unique geographical reach across Russia’s many regions; unlike other Russian art institutions, Erarta does not only work with artists from the established hubs of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Instead, the Galleries are often the first to discover bright and authentically talented artists from cities such Krasnodar, Perm, Samara, Novosibirsk and other areas of the country and then introduce them to the global art market.

Erarta Galleries is the commercial arm of the overall Erarta Project, dedicated to promoting Russian contemporary art both domestically and on the international stage. The Erarta Project,first launched in September 2010, is the biggest global one of its kind, and also includes Erarta Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia’s largest private museum of contemporary art, whose collection contains 2,300 works by more than 170 artists.

Erarta has firmly established itself as not just a dominant presence on the Russian contemporary art scene but also as an important cultural landmark in Russia, welcoming over 180,000 visitors per annum and boasting the largest social media profile of any Russian museum with over 200,000 followers. Profits from the galleries are reinvested back into the overall project and enable Erarta to continue supporting and promoting Russian contemporary art. ‘Soviet Pin-Up’ by Valery Barykin will be on display at Erarta Galleries Hong Kong from 1st – 31st March 2015.

For enquiries please contact:

Erarta Galleries Hong Kong