Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, much of the vast empire’s public art—or propaganda—has perished as well. Socialist Realism was the dominant style of the day—that is, art that bolstered the socialist message by glorifying the proletariat and celebrating civic triumphs. Hardworking men and women of heroic proportions were depicted on posters and in brightly colored mosaics on the walls of factories, schools, and bus stations.
Bold reminders of a very different time, the mosaics that remain are mostly crumbling, slowly being reduced to rubble in failing industrial districts and on the sides of abandoned buildings.
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