"Symbolic Bird Meaning of the Finch. When finches come into our awareness it is a sure sign of ebullient times ahead. Finches are a sparkly omen of high energy and bright days on the horizon."
Who writes these things? Do they imagine there is only one kind of finch in the world?Pace Darwin, but he was not the first to recognize that finches specialize.
Bullfinches are beloved in Northern Europe and Asia. There's more than a touch of the mystical about them. They are beautiful dollops of animated life in the depths of the coldest winter.
Any finch can symbolize ebullience. But a Bullfinch... a Bullfinch is a specific promise of joyful life that can survive the cold.
KAR, November 24, 2018
Soviet postcards are fascinating, and for a wide number of reasons. The Government between 1930 and 1991 clearly used this format for propaganda purposes, but just as clearly... artists are funny people. Even when they are trying to go along with how someone is dictating their art should appear... the repetition, for the best of them, can't help but get boring. Inevitably, they end up trying new things, whether successfully or not. Artists age, and change their minds... this has a tendency to show up in their work more often than even they themselves can recognize.
In the last six months, I've found myself increasingly drawn in by these images. The naïveté, the subtlety. The lack of subtlety! I picked up a few cards "for fun," and now... I've picked up a few more.
In the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, some of these centuries old factories have regained their independence, survived, and even flourished. Lomonosov, the imperial Russian Porcelain Factory, has reclaimed some of its stature (the golden age of household figurines, judging by 2018's fashions, remains somewhere back in the 20th century). But lesser known factories, Polonne, Gorodniska, and Korostan, were not able to reconfigure themselves as viable craft enterprises. The political compromises that had resulted in the production of Olympic Misha Bears and propaganda figurines permanently scarred these factories' reputations as creative or even artistic makers.
But this new age of ceramic independence has also meant that "Soviet" ceramics are undergoing a re-assessment as the decades pass, and the connections to these factories' pre-Soviet past is better appreciated.
Maybe it's just a case of... if things get old enough, somebody starts collecting them. Jordon Peterson, for example, is well know for his collection of Soviet Realist paintings, "routinely proffered as evidence of his profound ethical commitment to understanding the forces of evil in the world."
My own interest is, frankly, a sentimental one. As a five year old, I knew I wasn't supposed to touch the one or two figures that my grandmother owned, high on a treasure shelf. The "Forbidden Fruit Effect" left its impression. The figures in themselves are fascinating to me, and the little known history of their creators has, subsequently, also proved of interest.