Russian Police Shut Down Art Gallery After They Show Painting of Putin In Women’s Underwear

225px-Vladimir_Putin_official_portraitRussian police have shutdown an art gallery in the latest attack on free speech under President Vladimir Putin. The police declared a painting to be illegal and pornographic because it depicted Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women’s underwear and another of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church covered in tattoos. The paintings were seized from the Museum of Power. Last year, we saw how a protester was arrested for spitting on the image of Putin during a demonstration. It appears that after years of cultivating a cult of personality with action-hero photo ops and staged acts, Putin is not about to let a bunch of artists mock his well constructed image.

Museum of Power’s Alexander Donskoy told the press that the paintings were seized and no explanation given. The Russians appear to have a pretty low definition of pornography. The painting shows Putin in a slip dress combing the hair of Medvedev who is wearing a bra. One would have to have a pretty bizarre fetish to find these paintings as appealing to prurient interests. It appears that bare-chested images of Putin released from the wild by his propagandists are just good ole hero worship but a parody of him is strictly pornographic.

Of course, in the United States, pornography was defined in Miller v. California as not only depicting a patently offensive scene of sexual conduct or excretory functions but also lacking “taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” The painting of Putin is actually quite good and contains both artistic and political value. Indeed, the response of Putin’s police shows the political content is not only self-evident but powerfully displayed.

28 thoughts on “Russian Police Shut Down Art Gallery After They Show Painting of Putin In Women’s Underwear

  1. Grammar Slammer 1, August 28, 2013 at 9:31 am

    “Shutdown” is a noun. “Shut down” is a verb phrase.


    I would guess that the good professor simply omitted the space, accidentally. But hey, “slam” away.

  2. Because those photos of a bare-chested (and a little bit paunchy) Putin riding a horse or fly fishing are so much more appealing. Frame an 8″x10″ of that and hang it over your stash of vodka and you’ll be sober in a week.

  3. I want to see all of these:

    The off-beat gallery, known as the Museum of Authority, opened on August 15 with an inaugural exhibit called “The Rulers” that featured paintings by artist Konstantin Altunin of public figures such as President Barack Obama, former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and Mr. Putin.

    (JT’s Link).

  4. “…pornographic because it depicted Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women’s underwear…”

    Pornography’s in the eye of the beholder. That designation says much more about the viewer, than the artist.


    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  5. I was listening with interests this morning when I head the news say that folks can be arrested in Russia for showing disrespect to persons of authority….. Guess it depends on Putins position….

  6. Older civilizations solved this in a different way. They had certain festivals or holidays where it was permissible to ridicule the ruling class, and they had court jesters. From Wiki:

    The Royal Shakespeare Company provides historical context for the role of the fool:

    In ancient times, courts employed fools and by the Middle Ages the jester was a familiar figure. In Renaissance times, aristocratic households in Britain employed licensed fools or jesters, who sometimes dressed as other servants were dressed, but generally wore a motley (i.e. parti-coloured) coat, hood with ass’s (i.e. donkey) ears or a red-flannel coxcomb and bells. Regarded as pets or mascots, they served not simply to amuse but to criticise their master or mistress and their guests. Queen Elizabeth (reigned 1558–1603) is said to have rebuked one of her fools for being insufficiently severe with her. Excessive behaviour, however, could lead to a fool being whipped, as Lear threatens to whip his fool.[5]

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  7. I was hoping that the clown from the Missouri State Fair could go to Russia but it looks like that is now not possible.

  8. Reminds me of that scene from V for Vendetta, where the painting of The Chancellor Adam Sutler (John Hurt) in Gordon Deitrich’s (Stephen Fry) contraband room, depicted dressed up as Queen Elizabeth II.
    If, and when, that room is discovered, Deitrich is toast.

  9. “Before laughter, even the Bishops quake”. Jeez, just get a grip, call it Putinwear and start selling it to shops in the US.

  10. Let’s honor this artist and make posters out of his painting and distribute them world-wide. A man like Putin who is so obsessed by his masculinity and goes after gays with his kind of vigor make me think the reasons behind this obsession are: 1. He’s gay himself and can’t admit it and 2. People in his Russia are suffering from the economy and need some distraction.

  11. @pete:

    LOL! That made me think of an Irish Poem:

    Razz Putin???

    That Czars were mean, there’s no disputin’,
    And crossing them ended in shootin’!
    A century later,
    A brand new dictator
    Is adamant, “Don’t Harass Putin!!!”

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  12. smh putin is afraid someone will discover that he is gay.. and Medvedev really is his lover. skull and bones to the rescue

  13. IS the painting of Putin “quite good”? I may be art-impaired (well, I should really delete the “may” from this statement), but I don’t think it even looks like Putin. Regardless of the artistic merits of the rest of the piece (which I admit to being completely unqualified to judge), isn’t it generally a good idea for a painting of someone to contain an image that actually resembles the subject?

  14. @porkchop:

    I’m with you! I had to look at the painting several times, on different sites to be sure that it was Putin. I guess the Ruskies just aren’t as good at this kind of stuff as Americans, like Dan Lacey, The Pancake King!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  15. I think the U.S. should offer asylum to the artist who painted them.
    That’ll show them Ruskies what it feels like.

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