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I Sleep in the Orchard, 1991
GAM Galleria d'Arte Moderna
© Ilya ed Emilia Kabokov - Courtesy GAM - Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Torino foto di Studio Gonella - Proprietà della Fondazione per l'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT
(Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, 1933 - New York, US, 2023 and Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, 1945)
After graduating from art school, Ilya Kabakov first worked as a children’s book illustrator, an occupation that allowed him to earn a living, working only two or three months a year, and to spend the rest of his time working semi-clandestinely as a non-official artist in the Soviet Union. Moreover children’s book illustrations were a separate realm within Soviet visual production—less closely regulated than other forms of graphic and pictorial production and a sort of small refuge for the avant-garde, where there was room for ironic, absurd, and fantastical images, combined with playful and paradoxical texts.