The Cold War Within

root56017243975“It wasn’t just the strange chance this expat took, which could have just as easily been seen as a weird or deranged little lie a man a bit too far from home might feel at liberty to tell. No.”

“In this case, local artist Yan Shirlee recognized the American’s fabrication and was inspired to create a little art of her own, a piece she calls The Cold War Within.”

“By coupling Elderson’s words with these classic Soviet images, Shirlee produced what many thought to be a novel, new piece of art. No one agreed with her more than the jury of the prestigious Russian Grand Prix of Arts, which gives away its famous gold porcupines every three years to the select few.”

“That’s where we came in. The fact that the art featured an American, possibly a Cold War refugee of sorts, piqued our interest. But when our Research Department discovered that this Elderson was no more than an everyday American, born and raised in Northern California of all places, well, for the sake of art, for the sake of history and for the sake of the truth—we had blow the whistle.”

“Let’s take a closer look.”


(Art courtesy of Boris Orlov. Sportswomen Parade, 2000-2012. Collection of Sh.Breus. Now on display at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, through June 23, 2013)