"HISTORY THROUGH THE EYES OF KROKODIL MAGAZINE" 1922-38
Since summer I have been working as an artist on a 12-book series of books "History Through the Eyes of KROKODIL magazine, XX century". It's an attempt at a conversation about the XXth century based on the huge archive and materials of the Societ satirical magazine "KROKODIL" (1922-1992). 
 
It's a weird project. It's hugley interesting, but honest, I've never been through a more awesome and terrifying visual experience. There are oodles, oodles of pictures in the archive, depicting everything in the Soviet life from eye-candy street scenes to eye-popping propaganda. So far I have gone through the revolution, the world war II, the terror in-between, and have just entered the cold war. 
 
Each chapter in a book is followed by a gallery of caricatures and genre scenes picked from the magazine's archive and dedicated to a certain topic, for instance - kids, women, everyday life, glamour and fashion. It's accidental treasure because basically a propaganda mag would never aim to say anything about such things at all, leave alone in a negative way, but when collected together these pictures do have something big to say about the era. 
 
Below are my illustrations opening the book galleries of authentic drawings from the era 1922-1938 (the first three books encompass this timespan). 
PROLETARIAN GLAMOUR
Illustration that opens the gallery of drawings and caricatures depicting the way Societ people dressed in the 20s and 30s.  
THE NEW NEW WORLD
Opens the gallery of drawings depicting people's hopes and dreams after the revolution
DAY-TO-DAY LIFE
Opens the feature of scenes depicting everyday life - neighbours quarelling, no hot water, hellish housework, street life, pastimes, etc.
ANIMALS
this is an interesting feature, where we've collected pictures with animals serving as metaphors of everything evil and repulsive and stupid, depicting enemies of Soviet revolution and proletariat, in a word - serving propagandistic purposes. 
WOMEN
After the revolution the Soviet propaganda was trying to push 'the new woman' out of home and into the factories. The resulting situation was that she had to bear the brunt of both housework and factory work. In addition, she gets constantly beaten by an alcoholic revolutionary husband for being too 'narrow-minded', 'petty bourgeoise' or just getting in his way.
HELL ABROAD
Well, the name speaks for itself. Cultivating the image of the enemy is in the heart of the Soviet propaganda. The enemy would change through the decades, but in this timespan (22-38) the major enemies were a Priest, a Kulak, and of course a Capitalist, that lived in a far-far land of Evil. 
GOOD LIFE
Apart from explaining how bad capitalism is, people had to be pursuaded how wonderful communism is. In this feature we collected pictures of burgeoning 'social realism'.
This illustration opens the feature on sexual revolution which happened soon after the socialist revolution in the USSR. In a nutshell, the idea was that Soviet people needed all their energy to build the wonderful new world of equality, liberty and brotherhood. It's too much trouble to digress from the bright communist future in order to court a woman or even woo her just for sex. Sex should be served like a glass of water. Komsomolka should understand - a komsomolets has more important stuff to attend to than all this bouquet-icecream nuisance. Sex becomes something like a duty to motherland and communist party - in one row with keeping the body healthy and strong to be capable of labour feats. 
The slogans in the illustration are a tongue-in-the-cheek wordplay with sexual connotations poking fun at Soviet propaganda rethorics of that time. 
ART
Illustration to a gallery depicting art and culture life of the era. Famous paintings of the time all feature a crocodile because that was the character, impersonating the magazine.
THE NEW TITAN
Yes, gallery of illustrations where the proletarian is depicted as a titan - rather characteristic of the epoch.
Whoa. OCTOBER KIDS.
Now, of course the Soviet magazine would never really say so, but there are lots of things we can observe from illustrations that ridicule other social stigma. Thus, we learn that homeless kids are numerous, they live in the streets and sleep on the snow. Also, kids of the era smoke, drink, play cards in the yard (while smoking and drinking, naturally), get beaten up by parents, and are otherwise abused and kicked around. And then of course, they are pioneers and building the bright communist future, that's also there. 
"HISTORY THROUGH THE EYES OF KROKODIL MAGAZINE" 1922-38
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"HISTORY THROUGH THE EYES OF KROKODIL MAGAZINE" 1922-38

Illustrations for the first batch of a 12-book series of books "History Through the Eyes of KROKODIL magazine, XX century". It's an attempt at a Read More
1770
23413
130
Published:

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