Soviet poster artist Igor Aksenov
Few people know that the Lenin Komsomol Prize award in the arts, among hundreds of professional artists, its winners, was once given to a non-professional artist from Siberia. This artist was Igor Aksenov – representative of the Novosibirsk State University. Alongside with the Lenin Komsomol Prize, he was awarded the highest award of the Soviet Peace Committee – an honorary medal “Fighter for Peace”, as well as a silver medal of the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition of the USSR (1985, 1986) and the Medal of Honor of the World Peace Council (1984). Soviet poster artist Igor Aksenov was a member of the Soviet Committee for Solidarity with Latin America. His posters are really very popular. They have become collectors’ items among the wide range of fans around the world. The number of exhibitions of his work has been enormous. To name the exact number and venue is not possible, especially abroad, as along with a few officials, there was a set of spontaneous, organized by fans of his work. They are devoted to topical political issues – the issue of disarmament, the fight against the aggressive aspirations of the imperialist forces and solidarity with the peoples fighting for their national and social liberation.
The first political poster of Igor Aksenov, from which begins the “poster period” in his creative work, was published in 1981. In the next fifteen years, he has created several hundred posters, most of which have not only artistic value but also are a kind of chronicle, historical documents of the world and domestic events of that time.
Acutely revealing one or another topic, he always sought to maximize the objectivity, impartiality and integrity, using fresh, emotionally expressive language of the original artistic images and associations, boldly going beyond the brink of what is permitted and developed in the Soviet propaganda cliches. Thanks to an outstanding creative talent and energy of self-taught artist Igor Aksenov, Novosibirsk Akademgorodok has transformed into the second on the value center, publishing posters in the USSR.
His name is usually attributed to the creation of a visual image of the Week of international solidarity of the Soviet period. The regional Week of international solidarity was held on the initiative of the students of the Novosibirsk State University. Igor Aksenov was the author of theatrical execution of political representations, emblems of Inter-week, sketches of badges, pendants. But the leading art direction for Aksenov was political poster. His works are laconic, emotional. Some posters of Igor Aksenov were taken for permanent storage of the Central Museum of the Revolution of the USSR.
Igor worked on Posters in many cities of the country – in the “Komsomolskaya Pravda”, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, the Higher Komsomol School, at the XII World Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow. His works have been exhibited in Czechoslovakia and Panama. For his great contribution to the promotion of peaceful ideas by means of the fine arts Igor Aksenov was awarded the Medal of the World Peace Council.
Since the collapse of the USSR, he has decided to stop work on a poster. Igor Aksenov never led a copyright file, and today the majority of his work and creative ideas of 1976-1996’s are lost. Since 1996, Igor Aksenov works in advertising in the international market.
At the XII World Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow, alongside with political posters of Igor Aksenov were awarded works of other artists. Here are four of them, created by Marina Mendeleyeva and Maria Shibayeva, students of the Moscow Art Institute named after Surikov:
XII World Festival of Youth and Students – Festival, held in Moscow from July 27 to August 3, 1985 in Moscow. The guests of the festival were 26,000 people from 157 countries around the world. The slogan of the festival – “For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship.”
Soviet poster artist Igor Aksenov
Magazine Komsomolskaya Life, 1985