Photography: Mary Lebedeva
Creative Director: Bella Alfritovna

 

 

Just like the colors of the tourmaline gemstones, the history of the Novoslobodskaya Moscow Metro Station, where this Editorial was shot is complex and has gone through many changes. The Moscow Metropolitan is considered one of the best in the world because of the worldly qualities each Metro stop possesses and of course because of the gorgeous art one is surrounded by. The high ceilings, marble floor and winding staircases are nothing in comparison the art that is scattered everywhere.

At this station you can find another mosaic made by Pavel Korin, it is an art piece dedicated to Mother-Russia. The mosaic is of a woman with a baby who is pulling his hands toward the sun, except instead of the sun the original piece had a picture of Stalin. Following a restoration the image of Stalin has not been replaced with a slogan, written in Russian, which translates to “Peace, in the whole world”.

There is a funny story associated with this mosaic portrayal of Mother-Russia. When Nikita Khrushchev, who led the Soviet Union during a part of the Cold War, came to look over the art in the metro stations, he was livid after seeing the feet of Mother-Russia. “Why is she barefoot?” – he exclaimed – “is this some sort of hint that our nation can’t even provide footwear for our people?!” This was quickly corrected with orders to ‘put shoes on’ Mother-Russia.

Today, following the final restoration Mother-Russia stands barefoot, just like the artist originally intended. Interestingly enough, the painting was almost destroyed, as Khrushchev was so unhappy with the mosaic that, despite all the efforts to ‘dress’ the iconic figure, he ordered it to be demolished. Pavel Korin saved the mosaic by secretly putting a fake wall in front of the figure and hiding it imprisoned until after Nikita Khrushchev had to step down from his post. It was a lot of work, but Korin was able to get the permission to break the fake wall and allow his masterpiece to shine in all of its glory, barefoot, wishing peace for all.