Passed away on September 4, 2019
Sculptor Konstantin Simun was born in Leningrad, USSR on April 6th, 1934. He spent the war years in evacuation with his family and returned to his beloved city in 1944.
He was never fond of school but was passionate about drawing and used the reverse side of his mother’s accounting forms for sketches. His first introduction to sculpture was in a children’s art workshop (во Дворце Пионеров). He continued his studies, first at the Leningrad Art High School, and later at the Tallin Art institute, and the Leningrad Art Academy. In 1958 he became a member of the Artist Union. Simun gained early fame for his 1966 work The Broken Ring.
“Konstantin Simun is even in fact known to those who have never heard of his name because he is the author of St. Petersburg’s unforgettable symbol, namely the monument of Broken Ring that commemorates the lifting of Leningrad siege.” (Ekaterina Andreeva, art critic).
Since 1988 Konstantin has been residing and working in the US. In these 30 odd years he has created hundreds of works. The best known of these are Totem: America at the DeCordova Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA, and Doo-Doo, a memorial to puppeteer Igor Fokin at Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA.
Konstantin Simun is survived by his wife Elena, daughter Sonia and three granddaughters Miriam, Dania and Alya.
Funeral Services will be held on Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 12:30 PM at Stanetsky Memorial Chapel, 1668 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02445. Interment at Puritan-Mt. Sinai Cemetery, 776 Baker Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132.
- Funeral Service Sunday, September 8, 2019
September 8, 2019
I first met Kostya several years after the passing of Igor Fokin. Our mutual friend, Slava Gaufberg brought us all together. Fast forward several years and Kostya is creating a truly inspired bronze sculpture that memorializes Igor and also captures the roughness, pluck and creative spark of Igor and of ALL of the street performers who have come and gone at Harvard Square before and after (and elsewhere).
At today's memorial service I heard moving testimonies to Kostya's unwavering commitment to living the life of an uncompromising artist. Which is to say -- of an uncompromising human.
Of all of the works he left behind, I'd like to think that little Dudu in Harvard Square was one of his most significant demonstrations of how he implements that commitment.
Imagine this: a scruffy ex-soviet artist, sometimes mistaken for a homeless person (!), plants a whimsical bronze flag in one of the most established power centers of the world -- Harvard Square. His comical little bronze figure of no import or weight snuck in with the help of Slava Gaufberg's tireless behind-the-scenes work -- and yet it remains and is beloved by untold passersby who have no idea of its origin story.
And yet, it still carries a message -- Konstantin Simun's message -- Never compromise! Follow your vision. Do what you must as an artist. Every now and then, amazing things can happen...
So subversive! And yet if the enduring charm of Dudu is any indication, it's a kind of subversion -- joined with joy -- that resonates and continues to resonate.
Rest in peace Kostya. Your legacy is alive.
September 8, 2019
Konstantin was a role model for my son Daniel. He was also a very dear friend of Daniel, as were his dear wife, daughter, and granddaughter. Unfortunately, Daniel cannot come from so far away to tell you these thoughts personally. I appreciate all that Konstantin did for Daniel and how much he meant to him.
My deepest sympathy to you for this great loss.
September 6, 2019
We have lost a prodigious talent, an artist who claimed direct descendance from the early Modernist Russian Avant Gardes. He was out link to the past and to the future. His humanity and soulful concerns for the universal human plight were manifest in his art using recycled detritus from our consumer society which so fascinated him. Kent dur Russell CEO & Curator Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton MA USA