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Russian artist who painted Putin in women’s underwear flees to France for political asylum

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  1. Derek Williams 29 Aug 2013, 6:31pm

    No sense of humour, no intelligent dissent. Glad I don’t live there, and sorry for anyone sane who does.

  2. The Russian government does not even try to pretend that Russia is a democracy anymore. Such a shame. I hope the French give the man asylum. The Russians got Gerard Depardieu in exchange already…

    1. I do wonder if Gerard Depardieu, Edward Snowden, and probably a few others have return tickets.

  3. Matthew Brooks-Phillips 30 Aug 2013, 6:39am

    i would buy that painting.

    1. Well, Matthew, that’s impossible, since the painting has been seized, perhaps even destroyed, but you can buy his older works at http://www.saatchionline.com/Altunin . The artist is currently in extreme need of money and support.

  4. Colin (London) 30 Aug 2013, 8:07am

    I’m sad for the Artist Konstantin Altunin who has had to leave his country. I’m sad for the world that we stand is silence when things like this happen.

    I hope the Artist finds a clearer voice in Paris. Use your considerable ability in your art to highlight what is going on. Get your art out there and shame Russian leadership.

    However be careful as others who have fallen out with Russia have died in suspicious circumstances.

  5. Political freedom of speech (and of paintbrush) is a human right.

  6. Yesterday, Elena Altunina, the wife of Konstantin Altunin, has posted the following to her VKontakte wall at http://vk.com/altuni (my comments are in brackets):

    “I am the wife of Kostya Altunin [Kostya is the same name as Konstantin].

    We need help urgently, as Kostya was earning money by selling his art and he was the only breadwinner in the family. All his paintings were exhibited in the Museum of Power and are currently seized. [Actually, only four have been seized; other paintings are locked up in the museum, which has been closed by authorities.] We have spent all money we had on sending Kostya out of the country, as he was threatened with arrest on trumped up charges of extremism. We even had to borrow from our friends. I’m only getting child benefit, which is 2000 roubles [£38.85] per month. Right now, Kostya, me, and our daughter, who is only 2.5 years old, are on the brink of destitution. I have to urgently travel to my husband in France, as staying here is not safe. We have

  7. …spent all money we had on sending Kostya out of the country, as he was threatened with arrest on trumped up charges of extremism. We even had to borrow from our friends. I’m only getting child benefit, which is 2000 roubles [£38.85] per month. Right now, Kostya, me, and our daughter, who is only 2.5 years old, are on the brink of destitution. I have to urgently travel to my husband in France, as staying here is not safe. We have our little child, who is missing her dad and wants to see him.

    We really need legal assistance to help get all the necessary papers to leave the country [this is complicated because of the child] and to request return of paintings. Kostya has nowhere to live. He needs at least a bed to sleep over. We need legal assistance for getting political asylum, help of a translator, and simply sending words of support will help Kostya. He is really depressed.

  8. You can send me private VKontakte messages: http://vk.com/altuni
    My email: lenaaltunina@inbox.ru
    My phone: +79626608903
    Kostya’s phone in Paris: +33634925685
    Yandex Wallet: 41001230899546 [Russian online payment system]

    You can view Kostya’s paintings that have been seized here:

    http://vk.com/vlastmuseum

    and here:

    http://vlastmuseum.ru/

  9. She has later posted the following:

    “For those who are in Paris and would like to help Kostya. He’ll be waiting at the reception of ‘Hotel du Square’, Place de la Chapelle, 6, Paris, every day from 10am till 10pm.”

    She also provided another phone number of Konstantin (presumably, in roaming): +79062826773. You can see their family photos on Elena’s Vkontakte page: http://vk.com/altuni .

    I apologize to my fellow commenters for posting so much information, but this family is in really bad situation and they need help. I’ve sent some money to them, but I can’t do much else from Russia. Thank you.

  10. Following the Nazi playbook as expected.

    The Libraries will be a target next, if they haven’t been already.

    I can almost guarantee that within the next year we’ll see books being removed from shelves and from sale, that dare to criticize Putin or encourage political thought other than what the government dictates.

    Sure, there’s not going to be book burning in the streets, but they’ll want all of that out of circulation.

    It’ll be interesting to see how they deal with the internet.

    With each passing month the methods of Putin are absolutely clear. He is the next Hitler, using all the methods and tactics Hitler began using in the run up to invading other nations under fanatical support from a delusional or terrified public.

  11. Mister Fister 30 Aug 2013, 3:40pm

    As much as I applaud and find the painting delightful (I’ve saved the image to copy to my photoframe) I am uneasy. Forgive me if I am being too sensitive but isn’t it a bit transphobic?

    1. I don’t think so. The artist simply depicts politicians in the context of things they fight against. Putin is persecuting LGBT community, hence the transgender context. The painting of Deputy Mizulina giving a blowjob is based on the rumors that she plans to add oral sex to the list of “non-traditional sexual relations”. Deputy Milonov against a rainbow background—the man is well-known for his homophobia. And so on.

  12. Russia just hasn’t got this whole democracy thing yet have they?

  13. Helge Vladimir Tiller 30 Aug 2013, 7:23pm

    Can anyone in Paris or France PLEASE respond to what Sergei or Elena A. asks for. Be it information or other help. Sergei sounds like a nice, honest and serious person ! K. Altunin must registrate at the proper authorities- I feel that is important in his case.

  14. Velvet Steele 30 Aug 2013, 7:29pm

    Fleeing your country because of artistic expression?? No more democracy there!!

  15. Oh, how cute ))) don’t be that naive!!! This so called artist made it deliberately, so that to get asylum. He clearly knew what will happen after what he did. Why not to seek asylum in any other country? But they want Paris. ……LOL oh go to Equador.

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