Shower, After The Battle (1942) by Aleksandr Deyneka
Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Deyneka (Алекса́ндр Алекса́ндрович Дейне́ка) was a Soviet Era Russian painter and graphic artist. His paintings and posters show scenes of workers and athletes. He remains one of the most famous artists of the “Soviet Realism” school, with works that are bright, strong, with restrained color and few abstractions, useful for both building Soviet morale and promoting the vigor, health, and beauty of Communist Russian men.
Deyneka was born in 1899 in Kursk, Central Russia. He studied at Vkhutemas, the Russian State art school founded in 1920 by a decree from Vladimir Lenin “to prepare master artists of the highest qualifications for industry, and builders and managers for professional-technical education…”
His paintings and mosaics graced train stations, metro stations, and public buildings all over the Soviet Union. In 1939, he was commissioned to make 34 life-sized murals for the ceiling of Mayakovskaya Metro Station in central Moscow.
Lucky for him, the Soviets seemed not to noticed his intense interest in masculine beauty, or didn’t associate it with homoeroticism.
After WW II, Deyneka turned his attention to smaller subjects: fashion, sports, and naked boys. He still received commissions to do murals, including the assembly hall of Moscow State University (1956), and the lobby of the Congresses Palace at the Kremlin (1961).
In 1964, he received the Lenin Prize for his murals. I think that the Lenin Prize that year was a loaf of bread and young Donald Trump’s report card and a Lennon Sisters album.
He made several trips to the USA and Western Europe, and painted many scenes of his travels.
He died on June 12, 1969, two weeks before the Stonewall Riots, taken by Mandatory Happiness. He is buried in the artist hero section of Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.