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Art That Changes Your Life

“Children are the Victims of Adult’s Vices” created by Mihail Chemiakin. This was his gift to the City of Moscow. It is meant to encourage the fight against global evil.

Warning. You can skip this blog if you are looking for my usual humor and whit.

The Russian man started it. I was looking at this sculpture so powerful, I still feel it will change my life. He was in his mid 60’s, shook his head as he walked by and said, “It’s not good. He has done many good pieces in NY and other places. But this is not good.” I was shocked. I had had the exact opposite reaction.

The sculpture being discussed was a series of 13 figures, that have human bodies with animal heads surrounding a young girl and boy. The figures are a bit scary and look like they might come from a nightmare but children in the park were running up to look at it. The statues had names like Drug addiction, Prostitution Alcoholism War Poverty Child labor Irresponsibility Products of violence Theft

The centered figure was named Indifference. Hands covered the eyes and the heart. Sadly enough the entire piece had to be enclosed by a tall black cast iron fence and locked off at night due to vandalism.

After trying to capture it in photos, we got back on our bikes to leave, I couldn’t help myself from stopping to talk to this stranger.

“So you don’t like it. Why?” Again he tells me the artist is good and had done good work but not this one. “It is like madness in his mind, his imagination.” I gave him my impression, “It is good. It has a strong message, adults need to hear. When you are indifferent to drug addiction or alcoholism, if you say, these are adults that make their own problems, you are being indifferent. You hurt the children effected by it.” No response from him. “Likewise, poverty. When you are indifferent to poverty, you forget that children are effected by poverty through no fault of their own.” Then I found myself starting to cry. Geoff waited a safe distance away. The Russian man’s wife and kid approached. He repeated again he didn’t like it. “Well, your son liked it.” and I rode off before the tears building up in my eyes poured out of me.

Since leaving the sculpture in Moscow, I have thought about indifference. You must do something, anything you can, when faced with the evils of man. Russia needs these statues and will need them even more in the years to come. Evil will inevitably follow Putin’s absolute power. When I get home, I think the message will stay with me as I direct my energies post working world and look at what I can do for the children of the world.

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