A sculpture of the head of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin by the Ko brothers is rising in downtown San Antonio

by AryanArtnews
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A giant steel sculpture that grabs attention wherever it appears, it will debut in San Antonio next week.

The sculpture, titled “Lady Mao Attempts to Get a Foothold on Lenin’s Head,” depicts a tiny Mao Zedong balancing atop Vladimir Lenin’s massive head.

Developer James Lifshutz has indefinitely acquired the piece, which will be displayed in the courtyard behind a building he owns on the 300 block in the downtown business district in Dirk SAS Public Radio is located across from the new headquarters of the Alameda Theater. The installation is intended to serve as a sign of the revival of parts of downtown, including the Alameda, which is being renovated, and a new part of the San Pedro River Cultural Park, currently under construction.

“It’s a neighborhood that’s been dead for 20 or 30 years,” Lifshutz said. “One of the things that inspired me to get a block was that the block had been dull for so long and I wanted to show that it was slowly waking up from its coma and it would be a really, really great block.”

Given Russian President Vladimir Putin’s continued incursion into Ukraine, Lifshutz acknowledged that the timing of the installation of a work featuring a monumental depiction of Russian revolutionary Lenin could draw attention. But he said the acquisition had been in the works for several months.

“It’s not pro-Putin, that’s for sure,” he said. “That’s not what it said to me. If people interpret it as anti-Putin, that’s fine with me. I’m a bit anti-Putin now too.

“I do admit that the timing of the Russian aggression and the arrival of a giant head of Lenin is a bit odd. It would be great if this article started a conversation. That’s what I hope.”

He said he was drawn to the sculpture because of its beauty.

Two parts of the large sculpture “Miss Mao trying to gain a foothold on top of Lenin”, which is due to start assembly on Saturday, are visible in the city centre. The piece will be on display in the 300 block of Commercial Street.

Xu Jianwen / film crew

“It’s beautiful and it’s available — not easy, but it’s available and I can get it and put it in San Antonio,” he said.

“Miss Mao” was created by the Gao brothers, Gao Zhen and Gao Qiang in Beijing. According to Artnet, an international art market website, most of their works are politically charged and aimed at criticizing communism in China. Their works often feature Chinese Communist Party revolutionary Mao Zedong as the protagonist.

Their work is collected around the world, including the National Museum of China in Beijing, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

At the 2009-2011 Vancouver Biennale, “Miss Mao trying to gain a foothold on top of Lenin” debuted. The work guide for that exhibition said: “Through the use of sarcasm, the Gao brothers consciously chose to play the role of critics of their hometown’s political environment. The sculpture can be read as a narrative commenting on the relationship between the two leaders. relations and their ideology, and reflections on current attitudes toward nostalgia for Mao Zedong.”

“Miss Mao Standing Above Lenin’s Head”, a gleaming stainless steel sculpture, will be assembled from horizontal sections.

Xu Jianwen / film crew

Following the Vancouver show, “Miss Mao” was shown in front of Ace Gallery in Los Angeles until its bankruptcy in 2017, according to a 2017 post by LAist.

A column last year on the Richmond News website about the sculpture’s whereabouts after Canada time said it had been transferred from a Los Angeles gallery to an art collector in the Mojave Desert.

Lifshutz arranged with the artist and Houston’s Deborah Colton Gallery to put the work on indefinite consignment.

“Miss Mao” will head to its new home in San Antonio in batches, where assembly will begin on Saturday. The process should be completed by early next week, Lifshutz said.

The sculpture will be located in part of the slowly revitalized Zona Cultural District. In addition to the Alameda and San Pedro Creek projects, the University of Texas at San Antonio’s School of Data Science building is also under construction nearby. Texas Public Radio has relocated to the Alameda Complex.

In response to a request for comment on its shiny new neighbor, Robert Salus, vice president of marketing and communications for Texas Public Radio, pointed to what’s going on.

“We are excited about all the developments and public art initiatives from public and private entities around West Commerce and San Pedro Creek Cultural Park,” Salluce said via email. “With the renovation of UTSA and the historic Alameda Theater, we look forward to the combination of these projects making the West Side of Downtown a vibrant cultural destination.”

“Miss Mao” isn’t the only large sculpture set to settle on the block this spring. American artist Fletcher Benton, known for his abstract geometric works, will be installed in May, said Andi Rodriguez, vice president of cultural placemaking at Centro San Antonio. On UTSA grounds.

Developer James Lifshutz bought the sculpture on consignment to display on the grounds of a building he owns.

Developer James Lifshutz bought the sculpture on consignment to display on the grounds of a building he owns.

Xu Jianwen / film crew

Rodriguez helped facilitate the installation of both sculptures as part of Centro’s Art Everywhere program, which works with the private sector and the city’s Department of Arts and Culture to bring more art to the city center.

Once all construction is over, plans are underway to bring live music and local vendors to the area.

“This once forgotten and unpopular area will be reborn,” Rodriguez said. “Two years later, it will be like, where That from? “

[email protected] | Twitter: @DeborahMartinEN

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