A street mural depicting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump kissing Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Lithuania has gone viral. The powerful imagery showing a passionate smooch between the two personalities was inspired by their “big egos,” said the artist.
People walking past or entering a restaurant in Vilnius, Lithuania, are being greeted to a shocking and evocative graffiti. The wall painting, interestingly, isn’t illegal graffiti. It was commissioned by the restaurant’s owner. It shows Russian President Vladimir Putin and presidential hopeful Donald Trump embracing in a passionate kiss. The street art is eerily reminiscent of a very similar kiss shared by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and his communist ally Erich Honecker way back in 1979.
For burger and barbecue restaurant Keulė Rūkė, the graffiti has been an instant ticket to internet fame. After decorating the store front with the mural of Russian president Vladimir Putin kissing Donald Trump, patrons and people have been lining up to take photos and have been sharing the images on the internet.
However, for street artist Mindaugas Bonanu, who created the art with the help of barbecue restaurant co-owner Dominykas Ceckauskas, the work represents a lot more than the antics and policies endorsed by Trump as well as the political agendas of Putin. The artist added that he created the art because he saw a lot of uncanny similarities between the two heroes of his graffiti.
“We saw similarities between the two heroes [Trump and Putin]. They both have an ego that is too big and it is funny that they get along well.”
Vladimir Putin is known for his strong opinions against the LGBT community. His stance as well as strict policies against the LGBT are condemned across the world. The Russian president has even supported and enacted quite a few regulations that seek to oppress the sexual preferences and orientation of the LGBT members. Recently, Putin signed laws effectively banning what he prefers to call “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” Meanwhile, back in the United States, Trump has been seesawing on his opinions about the LGBT community and has routinely indicated he supports “a traditional marriage between a man and a woman.” However, in the past, Trump has never shied from standing or talking against gays.
Vladimir Putin has indicated he likes Donald Trump. During a few of his speeches, he has referenced Trump and called him an “absolute leader in the presidential race.” He went on to add that it will be Trump who will spearhead the development of good relations with Russia. Recently, Putin mentioned Trump again, saying, “[Donald Trump] is a very colorful person, talented without any doubt.”
With all the praise from the Russian president, Donald Trump attempted to reciprocate some, saying, “It is a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”
It is perhaps this unusual and remarkable camaraderie, and routine exchange of praises, from the people whose countries have never seen each other eye-to-eye, that struck the artist. According to the co-owner of the restaurant, the mural was inspired by what he calls the two leaders’ “too big” egos, reported AOL.
If the mural depicting Donald Trump kissing Vladimir Putin seems oddly familiar, it’s because the graffiti is a tribute to Dmitri Vrubel’s 1990 Berlin Wall graffiti painting, “My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love,” reported Mashable. The hugely popular graffiti depicts East German communist leader Erich Honecker and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev embracing in the fraternal kiss. Incidentally, a kiss was once considered as a customary greeting among male socialist leaders.
— Vanessa Labrie (@vanessalabrie) March 18, 2016
Lithuanians are quite concerned about Donald Trump running and perhaps winning the upcoming U.S. presidential elections. Regional experts feel Trump might align with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Western world might soon become completely indifferent towards the small country’s security and sovereignty, reported QZ.
[Photo by Petras Malukas/Getty Images]