Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid:

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Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid:
Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid, born in Moscow in the 1940s, studied together in the Moscow Art School from 1958-1960 (DAF 1). They began their collaborative work in 1965, and in 1967, they established the SOTS Art movement (the Soviet version of Western Pop Art). Through their SOTS Art movement they worked along with other Soviet nonconformist artists to create work that challenged the rigid official style of Socialist Realism (DAF 1). They held their first international exhibition at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, in 1976 and from that time, they are holding many public commissions and exhibitions at the international level (DAF 1). In 1978, Komar & Melamid shifted to America and in 1981, they became the first Russian artist to receive the National Endowment for the Arts grant (DAF 1). Komar and Melamid gained popularity for focusing on the absurdity of the Soviet system through their paintings. Their art was initially aimed at dismantling that system and now that the system has been dismantled, Komar and Melamid nostalgic about the sadness of the past (Solomon 77). Since the 1970s, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid have used their paintings and installations to discuss the manipulation of history and art by governments and powerful people to achieve their own ideological goals. Their works have an undercurrent of a playful sense of irony, which is most apparent in their early works that mock at the pretensions of official Soviet art (Solomon 77). In the process of collaboration, Komar and Melamid first discuss their ideas and make separate sketches, select elements from each sketch and finally compose a new one. They work separately and take turns in switching and continuing the other’s work (Rueschemeyer et al 101).
Komar and Melamid sometimes chose to focus on historic figures and events to identify a past that has…...

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