If you’re confused as to why a search for Ronnie Dunn, the Nashville country star, has landed you on a blog about the Russian art world, I sincerely apologize. I was surprised myself to find that Dunn not only collects Soviet era Realist painting – but that he actually helped found the Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis. Dunn isn’t just collecting pastoral landscapes either. In an article at The Boot, Dunn cited Geli Korzhev, practitioner of the “severe style,” as a favorite.
So how did this unlikely pairing start? In the above article, Dunn recounts his introduction to Soviet art:
“I didn’t know anything about investing. The tech bubble crashed and I ran into Tim [Tim DuBois, chief of Arista Records] one day. He had a degree in economics and he was a Vanderbilt University economics professor before he got into music. I asked him his opinion on what was going on at the time and what a good investment would be and he told me, ‘I’ll tell you something that will sound crazy to you, but I’m gonna send a guy over to you to talk about art. So, Ray [Ray Johnson, founder of the Museum of Russian Art] took me and educated me as to how he was going about collecting the Russian art. I ended up heavily investing in it.”
Unfortunately, Dunn will not be using his visibility as an advocate for a re-investigation of Soviet Realism. In a great piece by NPR’s Studio360 Dunn explains:
“I kinda don’t want the secret out, to be honest with you. I gotta go work on my pick-up, change the oil on my truck. I don’t know anything about this art!”
What a shame! Dunn’s formulaic Nashville-populist lyrics are such a great accompaniment to Soviet art! To prove that point, and potentially compromise the integrity of this blog, I’ve assembled the above video mash-up of Dunn’s “We All Bleed Red” and Soviet art. A complete list of the featured works can be found in the description at the youtube link. Enjoy!