From Stalin to Steve Jobs, from Brezhnev to Berlusconi, from Hitler to Marilyn Manson: some of the world’s most recognized figures have been reinvented in a new exhibition by a young Russian artist who prefers comedy to politics.
Kazakhstan-born Victoria Tsarkova studied icon painting, and says the heroes of her portraits could be described as “iconic” just as well.
The 29-year-old artist says she rarely turns on the TV and couldn’t care less about politics. “No politics, just a joke,” she adds, noting that it’s also the title of her exhibition recently opened near Moscow.
Her works speak for themselves and deliberately are untitled. The most sought-after portrait has already proved to be the one featuring Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev.
The artist insists, however, that the “two guys” featured in her portrait are none other than the “characters from the ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ movie starring Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Torro.”
Victoria says she deliberately chose not to title any of her work to stay on the safe side, avoiding potential conflicts and misunderstanding.
One copy of the ‘Putin-Depp’ creative reincarnation has already been purchased, and four others ordered, Tsarkova proudly announced; her last name ought to give pleasure to a political-minded ear.
“When picking up characters for my portraits, the point was to diffuse a highly charged political atmosphere in the world,” Victoria told RT.
“That’s why I focused on the heroes who have a universal appeal and are recognized across the word,” the artist explained.
All she intended to do was to help people take a fresh look at those who made history, Tsarkova explained.
She said the most difficult ‘character’ proved to be Hitler. “At first I wanted to portray him as Batman, but that felt wrong…”
“After a while, I turned him into Shiva, the destroyer.”
A fusion of irony and sarcasm is key when revamping the heroes, Tsarkova says.
“Next time I’ll switch from politics to show business,” she promised.
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