This is an exhibition of the recent artwork from the notorious contemporary Russian artistic team of the “Blue Noses”. Russia’s Culture Minister Alexander Sokolov publicly denounced the Blue Noses referring to their photographic arrangements as “a shame of Russia”. Because of this and other like reactions from those in Moscow, the work of Viacheslav Mizin and Alexander Shaburov, the artists that now are the active member’s of the ”Blue Noses”, have been banned in Russia and has been the subject of several high profile lawsuits both in support and in condemnation. Tretyakov Gallery curator Andrei Erofeev, the defendant in one lawsuit, asserts that the Blue Noses are the most “impressive phenomenon” in 21st century Russian art. The infamous works by the Blue Noses have even found themselves a topic of discussion during the recent summit talks between presidents Putin and Sarkozy.
To Mizin and Shaburov this shocking and sarcastic parade of flesh garbed in the masks of social icons (and little else) is merely “the history of our times seen with the eyes of a Philistine.” Where else but behind the closed doors of the universe of the Blue Noses you can find a stern Osama Bin-Laden sitting cross-legged in tiny black briefs with his arms lovingly (possessively?) draped around the flanking figures of a naked and seemingly ecstatic Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice.
The Blue Noses are not above irreverently deflating the self-importance of the world of art just as they have the world of politics. Another series of brilliant works in this exhibition at Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, titled “Artist’s Diary”, depicts similar Rubenesque Russian nudes engaged in some comically staged coitus wearing masks not of political heavies, but faces rendered in an iconic Cubist style.
Ethan Cohen Fine Arts has arranged for these two artists to visit the United States during the exhibition and they will be present during the opening reception on the evening March 1st to discuss their work and answer questions. We are requesting an RSVP for this opening reception.