Camp Artek or Commonwealth of Independent States CIS

Acrylic on wood panel, 38×64”,15 triangles 7×14”, 2004

Made for Summer Camp Exhibit at Patricia Faure Gallery, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA

This is a historical work about the collapse of the Soviet Union. In Crimea there was a summer camp called Camp Artek. It was an elite camp for the straight A students of parents who were part of the ruling class and other communist countries. Some called it the Children’s Soviet Union. The individual tent shaped pieces represent the 15 republics that separated from the Soviet Union and each their contribution of privileged students. Most of them are now known as independent republics.

The five stars on each tent ( 5 being equivalent to an “A”) are muted or dimmed, covered by some opaque substance. Life and light shine brightly from stars. All the ones here are blocked and faded representing the historical diminishing of the human spirit by communist oppression.

Now assembled into one large tent shaped representation, all 15 republics, each with its own flag,  are separate but still together as one form. However, the piece at the far right bottom is starting to fall out of place which represents the beginning of the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  Correspondingly, the end of the elite communist summer camp.