About six months ago, Russian artist Petro Wodkins caused a ripple of controversy by creating a poignant fashion spoof, a realistic yet fictitious advertisement for Armani diapers. In semi-hiding, he said the Italian company was attempting to track him down. Now he’s gone somewhere and done something truly dangerous.
According to an assistant, Wodkins was invited to an art festival in Zimbabwe, an African country whose president, Robert Mugabe, is universally denounced as a genocidal dictator who’s hoarded as much as a billion dollars from the treasury while his people suffer economic collapse.
At some point late last year, Wodkins was disinvited; apparently they took a closer look at his highly satirical brand of art. Naturally, he went anyway and installed a gold statue of himself — ostensibly a gift to Mugabe — in the capital city of Harare, in mockery of the president and his crippling self-aggrandizement. The statue was pulled down by authorities and we’re told both the police and army sought the arrest of Wodkins, who managed to escape to neighboring Zambia by using multiple getaway cars.
It’s all explained with pictures here. (As a snarky bonus, try answering ‘no’ to the last question.)
Wodkins has also made a rap song and a video about the art stunt…