The Russian Funeral

I'm often surprised by a painting of mine when I haven't seen it for so long. I try to remember why I painted it and what was going on in my life around this time.
The death of Brezhnev and my father seemed to have coincided around the same time. I remember watching on TV the funeral of Brezhnev and being moved by the solemnity of it. My father was born in to Russian parents, although on his birth certificate it states he is Yugoslavian, as that's where he was born. But according to him it was only because his mother happened to be in Yugoslavia at the time.
I never really understood him and I never got the chance to ask him all the questions that I wanted to ask him after he had died when I was older. In a way this painting became a homage to my Russian bloodline and to him.

It's an odd painting even for me. The faces are of my relatives that I found in old black and white photo's from my dad. The old women on the left grieving sometimes looks like the dead mans mother and other times I think of her as his wife. I was never sure who the person was watching on on, hiding amongst the trees, I have a little inkling that maybe it was my fathers estranged brother...but who knows. Very strange!


vivian said...

wow! I'm impressed by your painting and the story around it! I do have to say that sometimes I'll see a piece of mine at a friends house that i havent looked at in a while and I am often intrigued by it.. and I think.. hmmm.. I made that huh? not bad!
I'm gettign ready to mail my halloween dolls.. Would you rather have a pumkin head or cat head doll?? let me know soon!!!
have a great day!

Yve said...

Wonderful painting, and thanks for sharing the story behind it even though it is still obviously an emotional subject. I rarely paint as such these days and so when I come across old work it's like another artist painted them. Freaks me out to remember what was going on in my life at the time and how much things have changed.

Bird Bath said...

wow, those paintings are amazing! they resonate with me - my parents have Bosnian/Ukrainian backgrounds. The faces/mood is familiar to me. wow again.

tilcheff said...

it's fantastic, grace!
another great painting! very expressive!

and just mentioning brezhnev's funeral brought memories into my head. i was at school and we all had to watch that ceremony on normal sized tv-screen put on a chair on the stage of a concert/cinema hall. i remember sitting on the 15th row - the screen as big as a post stamp. and we were supposed to be sad and were in a way as the brainwashing has done its job... i must have really strained my eyes to see the last moments of this 'great' comrade. i would have never probably remembered this day if you haven't mentioned it.