With much anti-Russia rhetoric making the rounds of the media these days, an art exhibition, dubbed “Putin Universe,” has been set up to celebrate Vladimir Putin’s 63rd birthday.
To be held in both Moscow and London, “Putin Universe” has 30 paintings on display, each depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin as a well-known hero or superhero, world leader or mythical character, from the present and the past.
Intended to show Putin in a more favorable light, in each case the visage of the Russian President has been superimposed onto existing iconic photos or paintings of each character, including world leaders, iconic personages and super heroes.
— Discover London (@365Disc_London) October 8, 2015
According to the Mirror, Wednesday saw Putin celebrating his 63rd birthday and the art exhibition was set up to celebrate the occasion. Artist Lee West from England, launched “Putin Universe” after spending a year living in Russia. He said the exhibition showed artists from around the world presenting Putin in a different light, as someone who had links with different cultures, countries, ages and nationalities.
According to West, he is proud to present a good image of the Russian president, saying, “People seem very interested in what we’re doing.” He adds that a similar exhibition was held in Russia last year and, at the time, the BBC apparently said, “this could never be done in London.” But, now, it has been done.
The aim of “Putin Universe” is reportedly not only to mark the Russian President’s birthday, but is also an attempt to portray him in a more positive light that “people in the west rarely get to see”.
Exhibition organizers in Russia said in a statement, “Vladimir Putin’s character is the embodiment of heroism, fairness, slyness, intellect, courage and charm.”
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) October 6, 2015
In Moscow, Milos Kojic, a Serbian political expert who helped to put the display together in that city, said they “just want to thank him for the job he is doing for the whole planet.” According to Kojic, the paintings are the work of Putin admirers who are members of the Russian President’s fan group on Facebook.
Most people have seen the actual photos of Putin as a “man’s man,” indulging in various sporting activities, riding horses bare-chested, fighting bears and other similar situations.
With those incidents in mind, in one of the paintings Putin has been pictured as football star Pele, kicking a football in the shape of the head of one very high-profile U.S. politician (no prizes for guessing who).
He also puffs on the perfect pipe as the inimitable Sherlock Holmes and stars as Santa Claus. In the way of superheroes, Putin is depicted as Batman, The Incredible Hulk and Neo from the Matrix films.
As reported by City AM, as to actual heroes and iconic leaders of the past and present, the Russian President was painted as Mahatma Gandhi, former French President Charles de Gaulle, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Alexander the Great, boxer Muhammed Ali, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, Martin Luther King Jr. and Otto von Bismarck, the conservative Prussian statesman from the late 1800s (pictured below).
exposition Putin Universe going on in London & Moscow pic.twitter.com/VOqAJwvZCC
— Andrey Davydov (@FarEasterner) October 7, 2015
In the art and culture sphere, Putin is depicted as Japanese far-right author Yukio Mishima, as well as the quirky Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali, complete with his emblematic mustache.
— Corey Flintoff (@CoreyFlintoff) October 7, 2015
He is also immortalized as Jupiter, the god of sky and thunder from Roman mythology and Englishman Robin Hood, well known for robbing the rich to give to the poor, as well as French saint Joan of Arc.
In London, the exhibition appears at Hoxton Arches, on Cremer Street and a better view of the various paintings can be seen in the video included below.
[Photos by Screen Capture/YouTube video]