On January 24, 2023, Olaf Scholz sends Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine after massive pressure. The decision became a turning point in the war in Ukraine. In support of the Russians, people use the symbol “Z”. Several have redrawn this into a swastika symbol. At the edge of the picture you see the swastikas filling in as a frame, but in fact these are taken from Ivan Bilibin’s picture of Baba Yaga, already painted in the year 1900. Ironically, Bibilin died during World War II and was a member of the Artists’ Union of the USSR, thus in no way a member of the Nazis. In the background you also see a reference to the myths of Sirin and Alkonost, who would sing beautiful songs and lure people to their deaths. They stand together with the bombs I also drew in the background, a clear reference to the bombings that took place in Ukraine.
I have chosen to paint Putin captured by the leopard’s teeth as a metaphor for what I hope is the turning point in the war. Putin’s facial expression looks old (I was actually told by my teacher, this is the first portrait he has seen of Putin looking THAT old). He looks like this as a reminder of how long he has hovered over Russia, as well as the world. Deception lies like a question mark behind these facial features.
It is clearly one of the most political paintings I have made. But the childish lines in oil chalk repeat themselves, just like the myths from the Russian fairy tales. I thought it was relevant to make a political painting with all that is going on in the news. When I deal with such a problematic subject as Russia, it is important for me to show where I stand.
Bredde: 59.5 cm
Højde: 80 cm
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