Gay Russian artist makes statement against anti-gay discrimination with ‘black woman’ chair parody

Joseph McCormick January 27, 2014
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A gay Russian artist has responded to a controversy involving a magazine editor who was pictured sitting on a “black woman” chair, with a parody which he says is meant as a demonstration against discrimination.

Dasha Zhukova, the editor in chief of Garage, last week came under heavy criticism for a photograph which was released in which she was seen sitting on a chair made to look like a black woman on her back with her legs in the air.

Zhukova apologised for the “regrettable” decision, but went on to say that the intent of the designer Bjarne Melgaard, was a “commentary on gender and racial politics.”

Black Woman Chair

The original image was met with controversy

Now Alexander Kargaltsev, a New York City based gay activist and photographer has staged a response.

He published the picture of a naked black man sitting on a naked white man, in a similar fashion to the chair Zhukova was pictured on.

In a statement sent to the Huffington Post on Friday, Kargaltsev said: “I was forced to leave Russia because of the discrimination I experienced as a gay.”

“I’m disappointed that the tradition of xenophobia is so strong in my home country that such an image of Ms. Zhukova can appear as if it is normal and unremarkable.”

“Russian people do not seem to realise when people offend the principle of colour, nationality, sexual orientation and so on,

“My own composition reverses the visual injustice and offence perpetrated by that editorial and in a way restores the equality of genders, races, and sexual orientations.

“Sadly, I understand very well that my work will be seen by most Russians as provocative and inappropriate, while [Zhukova’s] repulsive image will hardly make anyone shake their head.”


The new image is meant as a parody of the “black woman” chair photo

More: anti-gay laws, Artist, chair, David Cameron, Europe, G20, gay artist, Moscow, putin, Russia, Russia, sochi olympics, Sochi Winter Olympics, Sochi Winter Olympics 2014, St Petersburg, Stephen Fry, Vladimir Putin, Winter Olympics, Winter Olympics 2014

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