In the last years of the 20th century, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, all of the sudden a whole new cemetery culture emerged in its former territories. This new trend manifests itself in eccentric naturalistic engravings emerging out of black marble plaques, some enormous, others smaller in size. Motives can vary greatly from simple portraits to luscious landscapes, complex locations and bizarre collages.
The origin of this new fashion is generally unknown. The trend might have been set, as some suggest, by the post soviet mafia, which became a reference model in the early 90’s.
However, its roots can be found hidden in the past, in the strong relationship between totalitarianism and kitsch. Back in Soviet times, kitsch was the most common and only affordable form of aesthetics and decoration. Kitsch has shaped life and formed soviet mentality for many years.
Many of those graveyards are not only a form of expressing grief, in addition, they celebrate the lifestyle, social status and financial power of both those who are dead and those who are still alive.
With recent advances in technology, there are more possibilities available to those who are interested in this phenomenon. They range from a new kind of colored engravings, instead of the usual black and white, to the possibility to order real installations of all imaginable forms out of various desired materials.