Grandiose Soviet Art off the Streets of Karaganda
“Art belongs to the people”—Lenin (quote on the wall in the above-right image)
So many relics and reminders of the USSR on the streets of any post-Soviet city—the impossibly gargantuan apartment complexes, the above-ground pipe dreams weaving about town like a rusty, rabid nervous system, the soda-water machines offering a refreshing beverage in a clean-ish glass for 5 kopeks.
But nothing beats the massive public-art projects, particularly the tile work making use of the vast concrete canvases on the ends of awkwardly large buildings.
Many of these are slowly disappearing, either destroyed in reconstruction projects or covered over by enormous ads for Nescafe and mobile phone companies. It seems such a shame to lose any of these romantic remnants of a world characterized by failures, depressing, derelict public works projects, and an astonishing commitment to shades of gray.