Vasilij Fomiciov

Vasilij Ivanovic Fomicjov was born on 13 January 1908 in St. Petersburg. The years in school were decisive for the future choices of the artist. While he was still attending secondary school Fomicjov joined with enthusiasm the activities of the Comsomol and the student committee for the publication of posters and magazines hand-written by students, contributing also to the creation of an association among different schools for young correspondents. This was the first step towards his future activity, which actually started off when, following the advice of his teachers and friends, he showed his drawings to the editorial staff of the local youth newspaper “Na Smenu!”, which published them to his great satisfaction and where he entered full time in the collective group when his school education was completed, in 1925. Little by little he gains popularity as a satiric artist, using with astonishing simplicity the pen and the paint brush drawings from the life of young people of his country and from the opposition to the “demon” of world imperialism. In 1936 Fomicjov was invited to Moscow to begin his work at the “Komsomol’skaja Pravda”. His drawings brought a new wave of vitality to the newspaper; as usual, his talent for observation together with his ability to meet promptly the needs of his age allowed his to satisfy thoroughly the requests of the newspaper. However, in 1938 further to some political incompatibilities with the direction of the “Komsomol’skaja Pravda”, he started working for the newspaper of the capital “Moskovskij Bol’shevik” (now “Moskovskaja Pravda”). During the Second World War he worked a lot and struck the enemy with pungent disparaging caricatures of Hitler and his collaborators, stirring up in the fighters a deep hated towards the fascist invaders. From the beginning he was the direct superintendent of the satiric survey “Kalijonij sctyk”, where he drew caricatures, graphic headings and retouching, but also directed the zincography and organised the work of the press photographers. In 1945, Fomicjov became in-fact a member of the Association of Artists; in 1949 he was mentioned in the picture of the Soviet Army and appointed vice-editor of the “Illijustrirovannaja Gazeta” and in 1952 he was appointed artistic director of the “Pravda” The struggled for peace, friendship among the various populations and the charge of imperialistic ambitions addressed to the people responsible for the war represent the leitmotiv of the post-war artistic activity of Fomicjov and for this he obtained several honours. In the meantime, Fomicjov was a member of Leninskij Komsomol and at the age of seventy five he was assigned by the Centrale Committee of the VLKSM the title of “Illustrious member of the Comsomol. He has also been conferred a degree honoris causa by the Union of Artists of the USSR as an acknowledgement of his long and fervent activity within the same organization. Vasilij Fomicjov took part at several public exhibition. His first personal exhibit was organised in 1958 at Moscow. In 1962 was prepared a travelling personal exhibition so Fomicjov ending up showing his works in several garrisons of the Urals, of Siberia, of the Caucasian districts an in many frontier zones and, thanks to the obtained success, it was repeated in 1966, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1983 and 1985. He has been awarded of many prizes; more than once, the prestigious prizes “Gramota” and “Potchetnaja Gramota”. During thirty years of activity, he realised more than three hundred posters, always pungent and of topical interest, like the last works dedicated to the theme of the Perestrojka and the deep transformations undergone by his country. He died in 1998.

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