The Aesthetic Complex of the Post-Soviet
Oligarchy Period

The aesthetic complex of the early 21st century postSoviet
oligarchy is primarily characterized by a
conceptual attitude to art that can be regarded as a
logical continuation of the creative endeavor of the
Moscow romantic conceptualist school. The collapse of
the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc as a whole formed
the class of new oligarchs who earned their fortunes
mainly through privatizing the property that had once
belonged to the State. Despite their social origins, which
mostly included families of Soviet clerks and workers,
their cultural preferences were formed by a vulgar
interpretation of pre-modernist Western bourgeois culture.
A special role belonged to France, which was a guiding
light for elite classes of the Russian Empire throughout
several centuries. The idea of luxury was inculcated to
the elite through the taste of post-Soviet designers of the
1990s who focused overly on gold, marble and the overall
worship of authentic French artifacts that was a kind of
historical reconstruction of Russia before communism.
Pieces of contemporary art, modernism, and historical
avant-gardes acquired a primarily conceptual meaning
in this complex, while contrasting with its general visual
aesthetics. To a large extent, this was the product
of the literary tradition-based attitude to art typical of
the Soviet Union and Russia. While largely deprived
of their aesthetic qualities, art works should be
perceived as a symbolic equivalent of financial
investment, much like securities.

Today The Aesthetic Complex of the Post-Soviet
Oligarchy Period is considered today as a forerunner of
The Aesthetic Complex of 1 % Esthetic or "New Earth
Super Elite Post-Conceptual".