Ayn Rand in Illustrations
by Yevgeniy Fiks

“Ayn Rand in Illustrations" examines the uncanny resemblance between Ayn Rand’s aesthetics and that of Soviet Socialist Realist Art. For each of these drawings, sections of Rand’s prose (as they appear on
the page in the artist’s copy of Atlas Shrugged, including the page number) are combined with images of Soviet Socialist Realist paintings and sculptures, found in art books and magazines.

Author Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum, better known in the US as Ayn Rand, was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1905. As a teenager, Rand saw the Russian Revolution unfolding from her bedroom window on the city’s largest avenue Nevsky Prospect. Shortly thereafter, her father’s pharmacy was nationalized and her family’s hardships began. According to Rand, she had rejected the Revolution from the outset and spent her teens and early twenties in a self-imposed “internal emigration,” finding escape in 19th century romantic literature. Rand left Russia for the United States in 1926, when the aesthetics that became later known as “Socialist Realism” were just in the process of
formation.

The Capitalist utopia of Ayn Rand and Communist utopia of Stalin become symbiotic and interchangeable in this project. The two ideologies rely on the same approach of representation through propaganda, idealization, romanticization, glorification, etc. “Ayn Rand in Illustrations” exposes the mechanics of Rand’s aesthetics and that of Socialist Realism indiscriminately. Through the juxtaposition, Socialist Realism and Ayn Rand effectively cancel each other: while Socialist Realist imagery become possible illustrations for Ayn Rand, Socialist Realist Art appears to be only useful today as illustrations for Ayn Rand’s writings.

Yevgeniy Fiks: Ayn Rand in Illustrations

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 611)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 611), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 617)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 617), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 868)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 868), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 162)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 162), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 418)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 418), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 966)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 966), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 571)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 571), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 339)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 339), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 262)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 262), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 234)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 234), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 207)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 207), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 154)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 154), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 104)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 104), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 225)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 225), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 972)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 972), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 790)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 790), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 63)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 63), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 1069)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 1069), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 78)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 78), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 34)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 34), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 29)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 29), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 103)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 103), 2010

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 225)

Ayn Rand in Illustrations (Atlas Shrugged, page 225), 2010


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