Victoria Lomasko in Giornale di Brescia

'In Brescia, the art of Russian dissident Lomasko to affirm freedom and human rights' by Enrico Mirani
07 October 2022 She fled Russia on 5 March, 'because she was tired of living in that fascist country, where there are no freedoms and rights'. A cage for a dissident artist and writer, who draws and describes the world of the last, the deep Russia of the forgotten in the Putin era. Victoria Lomasko, 44, is a guest of Brescia.

From 12 November to 8 January, the Museo di Santa Giulia will host her exhibition The Last Soviet Artist. The title does not evoke nostalgia, if anything it signals the continuity of a system that has nothing to do with democracy. Lomasko, explains the curator of the exhibition, Elettra Stamboulis, "places himself in the midst of the realist tradition, albeit with a personal and synthetic trait, while the reaction to the concluded past saw the scene turn only to a rarefied and conceptual art".


The artist, Stamboulis emphasises, "gives face and voice to those who have no citizenship in today's Russia". Lomasko's exhibition - at her debut in Italy - is part of the Brescia Peace Festival, the third act of the Art and Rights cycle promoted by the Brescia Musei Foundation, after the exhibition of Turkish artist Zehra Dogan and Chinese artist Badiucao.


Yesterday, the latter was at the side of Victoria Lomasko at the presentation of the next event, in a kind of passing of the baton that will culminate on 12 October. On Wednesday, at 6 p.m., the Salone Vanvitelliano will host a talk open to the public to illustrate 'The Last Soviet Artist'. The language of art, stressed Brescia Musei president Francesca Bazoli, is 'extraordinary in conveying the message about rights'. The Foundation is committed to enhancing them, 'the challenge is to find artists who express dissent'. Like Dogan, Badiucao and Lomasko. The latter had already been contacted before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, her testimony is now even more relevant. Lomasko is considered the most important Russian graphic social artist, virtually unknown to the Italian public.


Brescia, commented mayor Emilio Del Bono, 'with its exhibitions shines a light on this historical period in which inalienable rights are being called into question. Dogan, Badiucao, Lomasko: these are tesserae of a mosaic to vindicate the validity of those rights'. The President of the Peace Festival, Roberto Cammarata, and Deputy Mayor Laura Castelletti, emphasised the indissoluble link between art and freedom.


Victoria Lomasko will be working in the ateliers of Brescia Musei these weeks to create specific works to be included in the exhibition. "Italy, and Brescia in particular, have welcomed me well," she said. "I am happy to be here." In Russia, he says, the situation is serious: 'The vast majority of the population can no longer make a living because of the extreme economic conditions'. Within a year, he commented, things could change because Putin will be in more and more trouble, caught between the protests of those who want freedom and the suffering of those who live in hardship. After his expatriation, Lomasko was 'happy to be able to breathe and live freely, to devote himself to art without problems, but in Europe I encountered many bureaucratic difficulties in obtaining residence permits. Now, in Italy, I feel welcome and accepted'.

7 October 2022
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