Thursday, August 29, 2013

Get Famous As An Artist-Paint Putin In Lingerie And Your Art Will Be Confiscated

EEEEW. Yuck. The works of Russian artist Konstantin Altunin have been seized recently due to their subject matter. I have always been against censorship in the arts. I had to go to bat for many feminist artists in the 1970s when their work was censored. Judith Bernstein's 60 foot phallic screws with hairy growths were especially problematic--due to censorship issues and the huge size of her works. However, at least the works I was trying to protect were good.. Maybe it is my taste and lack of understanding of Russian artistic styles, but I think these censored works are not very good. Why didn't he paint the Russian leaders using pinks and purples?

Police in Russia have seized a painting depicting the country's president Vladimir Putin in women's underwear from an art gallery in St Petersburg.The portrait features President Putin combing the hair of Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev.Its artist, Konstantin Altunin, has since left the country to seek asylum in France, according to the director of St Petersburg's Museum of Power.Police said four paintings that were seized broke unspecified legislation.

Two of the other pictures removed from the gallery poked fun at conservative Russian politicians who led a campaign to introduce controversial anti-gay laws.Gallery owner Aleksander Donskoi claimed he had been given no formal warrant or explanation for the removal of the paintings, which were included in Altunin's exhibition entitled Rulers.The gallery's director, Tatiana Titova, said Altunin had fled the country following the confiscation of the paintings.

One of the pictures seized features Mr Putin in a nightgown, standing behind Mr Medvedev and stroking his hair, while the prime minister is depicted with a woman's body and wearing lingerie.Another shows St Petersburg legislative assembly member Vitaly Milonov - one of the architects of Russia's anti-gay laws - against the background of a rainbow, the symbol of gay pride.A fourth painting depicting the head of the Russian Orthodox Church adorned with tattoos was also confiscated from the Museum of the Authorities.
St Petersburg, which hosts the G20 summit next week, was one of the first Russian cities to introduce a law against what it terms 'gay propaganda'.
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