New East Digital Archive

Artist recreates lost Soviet masterpiece with 3D printing and graffiti

Artist recreates lost Soviet masterpiece with 3D printing and graffiti

7 August 2018

A modern reproduction of one of the Soviet Union’s most enduring sculptures has been unveiled in Moscow’s Gorky Park.

The four-metre copy of Ivan Shadr and Romuald Iodko’s Girl with an Oar took a month to create using a dedicated 3D printer. The figure, which was printed in idividual parts, was then assembled and decorated by St Petersburg-based artist and calligrapher Pokras Lampas, who covered with the body with quotes from modern Russian literature.

Created in 1935, the original Girl with an Oar towered at 8-metres tall and quickly became a symbol of socialist realism. Copies of the artwork quickly appeared in parks and camps as a sporting Soviet ideal. The original sculpture however, has not survived. While some claim that the artwork was destroyed during a Moscow bombing raid, others say that the nude figure was simply too erotic for official tastes.

The new reincarnation of the statue will mark Gorky Park’s 90th anniversary, and will also appear on the cover of the Russian edition of Esquire.

“If you want to understand Girl with an Oar, just read the text [written on her],” said Lampas. “The meaning of modern calligraphy is not to maintain the tradition of writing. This is a search for new forms, an attempt to understand how the culture will change under the influence of global trends.”