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SURREY, United Kingdom
Amateur and still learning!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Dominant Evil.

As someone I greatly admire and I feel has had some degree of influence on my photography I went to see the Don McCullin exhibition at the Tate yesterday. It was all I expected, combining his hard hitting social documentary with his moody landscapes of the Somerset levels. Well worth the visit.

It was my first visit to the Tate. Having driven past it on numerous occasions I hadn't realised what a wealth of wonderment there was inside.

Of all the works of art on display I kept being drawn back to Peter Peri's bust of Joseph Stalin and spent quite some time looking at and photographing it. I remember during the war, WW2 that is, he, along with Churchill, Roosevelt, Montgomery, Eisenhower et al were childhood heroes plus my uncle Jack who was mentioned in despatches at the Normandy landings.

Stalin, the man of steel, represented the Soviet nation and was a figure of fierce and unbending resistance to the Nazi invaders. Despite this awesome reputation he was known as 'Uncle Joe' and promoted so in the press of the day.

After the war, and during the height of the cold war that followed, his reputation was shattered by revelations of human rights abuses, cold hearted slaughter of opponents to his regime and the infamous gulags of Siberia and was revealed as a monster who ruled with a rod of iron.

With all this background knowledge of Stalin I felt that Peri had captured all these qualities that made the man what he was, strong and unbending and basically evil.

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