West bands in­spired art of Stalin’s great-grand­son

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - News - SARAH WARD [email protected]­erndai­ly­press.co.uk

THESE as­ton­ish­ing psy­che­delic land­scapes were painted by the great-grand­son of Stalin – who has spo­ken about be­ing in­spired by Bris­tol-based bands while study­ing at the Glas­gow School of Art.

Ja­cob Dzhugashvili, who shares a sur­name with mur­der­ous an­ces­tor Iosif Vis­sar­i­onovich Dzhugashvili – bet­ter known as Joseph Stalin – stud­ied at Glas­gow School of Art in the 1990s.

Just like many young art stu­dents of the time, Ja­cob, 45, loved to lis­ten to West-based trip-hop pi­o­neers Mas­sive At­tack and Por­tishead.

Ja­cob said: “I went a cou­ple of times to night­clubs but didn’t like it at all – too noisy and every­body was drink­ing and get­ting sick.

“I got sick, too, once, right in the mid­dle of Sauchiehall Street. It was aw­ful and I’m still feel­ing shame about it.”

Ja­cob re­ceived a £6,000 grant from the Ge­or­gian au­thor­i­ties to study in Scot­land. He was taught by GSA stal­wart James Robert­son, whose paint- ings are col­lected by roy­alty, in­clud­ing Prince Philip.

Dur­ing his stud­ies be­tween Septem­ber 1994 and June 1997, while en­rolled on BA Fine Art, Draw­ing and Paint­ing, Ja­cob never told any­one of his fa­mil­ial links. But some friends guessed any­way.

Ja­cob said: “I told it to those I be­came close with – and only af­ter they have guessed my re­la­tion­ship with Stalin. The com­mon re­ac­tion is cu­rios­ity. I think the name is just a con­tainer – it de­pends on you and what you fill it with.

“My friends didn’t care about my name, they cared about our friend­ship. As I was com­mu­ni­cat­ing with peo­ple of the same age as me there was only cu­rios­ity and it didn’t last long. Per­son­al­ity – that’s what mat­ters. Not iden­tity.”

He re­called smok­ing cig­a­rettes at the front of the iconic Mack­in­tosh build­ing af­ter stu­dents were banned from light­ing up in the stu­dios.

And there were as­pects of Scot­land that re­minded him of home.

The artist added: “I re­mem­ber Irn Bru – as far as I re­call, it tasted like pear le­mon­ade we had in the USSR.”

Ja­cob spoke of his sad­ness at the two fires that rav­aged the build­ing and cast its fu­ture in doubt.

His psy­che­delic land­scapes, painted with oil and enamel, are sold by on­line gallery Saatchi Art and have been ex­hib­ited around the world.

Ja­cob now lives in Moscow and is mar­ried to Nino Lomkatsi, with whom he has a nine-year-old daugh­ter, Olga.

Ja­cob Dzhugashvili in his stu­dio with hisdaugh­ter, Olga

Com­mu­nist dic­ta­tor Josef Stalin

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