BY VICTORY ART | Promotion
The global Art market is undergoing change as the world continues its progression towards globalization. That specific change is the diversification of a predominantly Western Art market. This is phenomenal, but it’s also about time because it means that the Art market is finally beginning to include and value Art of all the different cultures that make up humanity. Now, not every culture or type of Art is valued or held to the same caliber yet, but we are getting there.
One of the regions that still appears to be struggling to break into the Art Market is Central and Eastern Europe. Which is problematic because it leaves a massive gap in our understanding of Art movements, and how we are where we are in contemporary Art today. So, in order to understand what Central and Eastern European Art is, you will first need to understand what distinguishes the region from the rest of Europe.
Eastern Europe is a fairly fetal concept which can be traced back to the second World War. The division of Europe into Western and Eastern spheres was due to the difference of political ideologies. The countries which fell into the Eastern Bloc followed a more communist ideological system and were either allied with or under the rule of the Soviet Union. The countries that make-up ‘Eastern Europe’ today, are the ones which fell under the Eastern Bloc from 1945 to 1991.
The Soviet Union is a collective experience which ties the region together. Under the Soviet Union, Art was utilized as a tool for spreading propaganda, it was not connected to the idea of ‘freedom of artistic expression’. Socialist Realism was an art movement developed by the Soviet Union for this reason. The artistic style was devoid of symbolism leaving no room for artistic interpretation. Instead, the style was rooted in a realistic, and ‘idealistic’, depiction of life under a socialist regime. This mixture of idealism and realism meant that the depiction of life was rooted in realism, but an idealized version of how life could look.
There were some artists that attempted creating ‘Art for Arts’ sake, but these were very short lived. In the 70s, the Art capitol shifted to New York city which then caused the Soviet Union to tighten their grip on censorship across the entire region. The result of this was a loss of cultural individuality as the region was forcefully clumped together as one giant entity.
Now, just like the region, the idea of ‘Eastern European Art’ is very fetal because Eastern Europe itself is. So, we cannot include movements within the Russian Avant-Garde when discussing Eastern Europe Art. This is an important distinction to make because the concept of ‘Eastern European Art’ cannot be applied to works produced before the second World War. As mentioned before, the concept of Eastern Europe is based on the political construct of the ‘Eastern Bloc’ not the geographical location of the countries which make up the region. So ‘Eastern Europe’ was formed in 1945.
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, one by one eastern European countries gained their independence and began their journey towards finding their cultural individuality again. Though the remnants of Soviet rule remain, entire generations of artist are now able to grow up in a world free from Soviet Rule and free to express themselves in whatever way they choose to. With this in mind it means that the collective artists of Eastern Europe have only had about 30 years or so to explore their individualism and creativity. This is exhilarating because it means we are able to bear witness to the cultural rebirth of an entire region.
Art is the vessel of human culture and helps us connect to each other in an extraordinary way. About 12 countries make up Central and Eastern Europe today, so this means that there is a lot for us to learn about and understand. The best place to start is simply by viewing Art. However, finding Central and Eastern European Art can be quite challenging as ‘Eastern European’ Art is a new concept and there are not many platforms dedicated to highlighting Art across the region. Nevertheless, a company in the Netherlands is taking this mission on.
Founded in 2018, ‘Victory Art’ is dedicated to breaking stereotypes and helping shape new perspectives surrounding Central and Eastern Europe. The company focuses on representing emerging artists across the region and exposing them to the international Art Market. These artists are part of the generation growing up in a free Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, and many more. Their artworks tell the histories of the countries as a whole and collective, and gives us a glimpse into the future of European Art. Now, one of the missing chapters from the book of the world can finally be told. For more information, visit: www.victoryart.eu
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