Putin gone Wild: Russian censorship forcing artists to flee.

Vera Donskaya-Khilko, Wrestling, 2011, oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm.

Vera Donskaya-Khilko, Wrestling, 2011, oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm.

Putin’s delightful regime of censorship and despotism is no longer content with targeting our brothers and sisters in the GLBTI community and is now striking out at artists. especially artists that are expressing their displeasure at Putin’s tyranny. one artist depicted Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in lingerie. the artworks were seized by police, the museum has been forced to shut it’s doors and the artist, Constantin Altunin, has fled to France seeking Asylum. He fears for his life. The other piece, by artist Vera Donskaya-Khilko, shows Putin and Obama in a standoff with enormous erections.

In an email to The Huffington Post, Donskaya-Khilko explained some of the controversial imagery contained within the painting. “Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin are in a significant fight,” she described. Putin is positioned next to a gas mask and fuel container, referencing his country’s natural resources, wearing a traditional bearskin hat and fox tails. Obama is painted in front of a small Statue of Liberty and a staff of dollar bills with liberty bells hanging below his waist.

According to Donskaya-Khilko, the multi-colored dragons represent the Chinese people.

via Russian Police Nab Painting Of Nude Vladimir Putin And Barack Obama (NSFW).

but what I find more distressing than all of this (and believe me I find this mind numbingly depressing) is the statement from the museum owner, Alexander Donskoi, of this second raid.

“I do not understand why it’s necessary to mix arts and politics?”

Really? so you run a museum and have no idea what art is or what it’s about? art is about humanity. it’s about how we perceive things, how we do things, the changes we make and the human condition. politics is a part of humanity, of course it is necessary to address it in art. it’s as natural to touch on politics as it is to depict the human form or to try to show how our minds work. politics in art have an extremely long standing history, almost as old as depicting humans and animals- and political protest in art has almost as long a history. and no, they aren’t usually flattering, because human dissatisfaction with totalitarian regimes is as old as time.

Constantine’s letter to Russian President Altunina:

“Mr. President!
Vladimir Putin!
Demand the return of my paintings stolen from the Museum authorities organized criminal group headed by a deputy Milonova consisting of government officials, law enforcement officers and persons unknown to me.
I ask to lift censorship in art, because in my position can be any citizen of Russia,
wants to create freely and express their opinions.
Konstantin Altunin

Every artist should have the freedom to express their opinions and use their skills to make people think. this is how growth is achieved, this is how new thought is born. The seizure of these artworks cannot qualify under the ridiculous Gay Propaganda law in Russia as that is about targeting minors, neither of these were in a position where minors may see them. this is just a cracking down on anything that Putin finds mildly uncomfortable. well, well done Putin, because yet again you have managed to prove my eternal point about censorship. censorship is the best way to shine a light on the very thing you are trying to cover up.

well done.

“Travesty” by Konstantin Altunin

One thought on “Putin gone Wild: Russian censorship forcing artists to flee.

  1. Pingback: Putin gone Wild: Russian censorship forcing artists to flee. | canvas paintings

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