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Often referred to as “Soviet Pop Art”, Sots Art (short for Socialist Art) originated in the Soviet Union in the early 1970s as a reaction against the official aesthetic doctrine of the state—"Socialist Realism". Socialist Realism was marked by reverential depictions of workers, peasants living happily in their communes, and a young, fit Joseph Stalin.
While putting together the signs, which were supposed to convey the strong ideological piety of the Pioneers, Komar and Melamid entertained themselves by using the Socialist Realism tropes they were employing but filling in the content with people they knew, such as their wives and even themselves.
Komar and Melamid continued tweaking well-known Soviet symbols and icons, often replacing Vladimir Lenin and Stalin’s portraits with their own, and signing famous Soviet slogans and catch-phrases with their own autographs.
- Arthur Coleman Danto, After the End of Art: contemporary art and the pale of history, Princeton University Press, 1997, p126. ISBN 0-691-00299-1