Comrade Kiev: a collection of Soviet art posters by Stephane Cornille

Tierpark Berlin | East Germany | 1963 - a poster featuring a black panther

Jyni Ong profiled Stephane Cornille and his expansive collection of Soviet art posters, which he has named Comrade Kiev:

With a background in business where Stephane spent eight years working for technology companies, the design enthusiast’s return to art reignited unexpectedly in 2018 on a visit to Ukraine. There, he bought a poster from a flea market in Kiev and slowly started to build up a collection of vintage posters, first for himself then for friends and eventually, selling them too. Years past and with it, Stephane journeyed to many other countries that made up the former Eastern bloc. From the frozen villages of Kazakhstan to the backstreet bazaars of Georgia, Stephane’s collection continued to grow, gathering steam until he finally had an archive big enough to launch Comrade Kiev.

This website, which houses Stephane’s mighty poster collection, is testament to the originality of Soviet art as seen through the disposable posters put up as a means of communication throughout the Soviet occupancy. Stephane tells us more on the uniqueness of the collection, “artists in the Soviet Union weren’t allowed to leave, and could only work for the state,” he says. “Because they lived in a closed society, the art they created wasn’t influenced by western style, and was also heavy in propaganda.” During the time of their creation, the posters weren’t appreciated as an art form, merely regarded as propaganda, and part of Stephane’s goal today is to raise awareness on the artistic merit of these delights.

The collection is split into different categories, including:

  • Soviet propaganda
  • Environmental posters
  • Film posters
  • The Space Race
  • The Olympics
  • Animals and zoos

It’s an eye-opening collection so check it out.

Soviet related: James Bond villains and their love of post-Soviet architecture, Soviet modernism, brutalism, and post-modernism, and Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980

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