My God, He Looks Like Lenin!


Watching a biography of Vladimir Lenin on the History Channel today, I was reminded of the first time I stepped off a plane in Prague, Czechoslovakia in the fall of 1992 (yes, this was before the Czechs and Slovaks decided to split, which happened in 1993). I was standing in the passport line and a Czech couple was whispering behind me, "My God, he looks like Lenin!" Realizing that they were talking about yours truly, I was a bit disconcerted, since I knew that Russians, especially historic commie ones, were not exactly popular at this point in time in Prague, where the Velvet Revolution and fall of communism were still fresh in the minds of most of the locals. As it turned out, any resemblance I had to Lenin was the least of my worries in Prague.

Interestingly, a few years earlier my good friend and well-known Seattle artist, David Kane also thought I looked like Lenin, as witnessed by the monoprint he made of me and hung at his exhibition at the Cornish College of the Arts, where he was teaching at the time. I think it's easy enough to tell from the photograph, which of the two of us is the artist and which is the art. :-)

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...a Czech-speaking American expat living in Prague since 1993.

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