Lenin – Not John

Yes, I know how John’s name is spelled but then there’d be no pun.

This 16 foot bronze statue of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin stands on a corner in Fremont (aka The Artists’ Republic of Fremont, Center of the Known Universe). Anywhere else it would be controversial but here, in the original counter-culture center of Seattle, it’s just one more curiosity. It originally stood in Lenin Square in Poprad, Slovakia. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union it was sent to the scrap heap where it was bought by a Seattle artist who was teaching there at the time. He mortgaged his home to ship it here but he was killed in a car accident before he could find a permanent home for it.

It and other Fremont artworks are often dressed up for various festivities. During the annual Solstice Parade (where people ride bikes in the nude down the main street) it has been dressed up to look like John Lennon. During Gay Pride Week it has been dressed in drag. This and the fact that he is posed in front of a Masonic Lodge, a falafel shop and a nail salon would probably irk old Ilyich no end.

A note of interest to photographers: Fremont is the headquarters for Getty Images and Adobe Systems.

English: Photo of the Solstice Cyclists by Bill Simpson. Picture taken on June 18, 2005 in the Fremont district of Seattle. Deutsch: Nackte Frau auf einem Fahrrad

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