The Aesthetic Complex of the Post-Soviet
Oligarchy Period


The aesthetic complex of the early 21st century postSoviet oligarchy is primarily characterized by a conceptual attitude to art that can be regarded as a logical continuation of the creative endeavor of the Moscow romantic conceptualist school. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc as a whole formed the class of new oligarchs who earned their fortunes mainly through privatizing the property that had once belonged to the State. Despite their social origins, which mostly included families of Soviet clerks and workers, their cultural preferences were formed by a vulgar interpretation of pre-modernist Western bourgeois culture. A special role belonged to France, which was a guiding light for elite classes of the Russian Empire throughout several centuries. The idea of luxury was inculcated to the elite through the taste of post-Soviet designers of the 1990s who focused overly on gold, marble and the overall worship of authentic French artifacts that was a kind of historical reconstruction of Russia before communism. Pieces of contemporary art, modernism, and historical avant-gardes acquired a primarily conceptual meaning in this complex, while contrasting with its general visual aesthetics. To a large extent, this was the product of the literary tradition-based attitude to art typical of the Soviet Union and Russia. While largely deprived of their aesthetic qualities, art works should be perceived as a symbolic equivalent of financial investment, much like securities.

Today The Aesthetic Complex of the Post-Soviet Oligarchy Period is considered today as a forerunner of The Aesthetic Complex of 1 % Esthetic or "New Earth Super Elite Post-Conceptual".