A changing of the guards:
It used to be artists who left Russia and came to NYC were the product of strenous and rigid training, and could sketch the human figure like nobody’s business. The product of a strict schooling system and all the other features of communism, they enjoyed a greater freedom of expression here, perhaps, but lacked the state salary.
Communism is over, and Russian artists still come to NYC. It has an arts scene that is inspiring, but is now considered a training in itself, as many have not had the training of the state system.