Nadya Tolokonnikova – Knife Play (Black 09)
Dimensions: 20 x 16″
Medium: mixed media
Nadya Tolokonnikova is known internationally as the founder of the Russian feminist activist group Pussy Riot. She has instigated some of the most significant actions of social justice against Russian tyranny, including Pussy Riot’s Punk Prayer in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. Tolokonnikova was subsequently imprisoned in Siberia, where she was forced to sew Russian army uniforms. In true Tolokonnikova form, she used the sewing skills the regime forced her to learn against them, by creating her own anti-Putin artworks (such as this one) using these same skills. The resulting Putin’s Ashes artworks put Tolokonnikova on the international art world map as her first collectible museum and gallery artworks. They also earned her a Russian arrest warrant and a spot on Putin’s most wanted list. The art historical and political significance of these works is profound.
“Teddy bears evoke humor and child-like naivete and hope-much needed in order to survive under oppression. Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation. It is well known that humor can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds (Viktor Krankl, Man’s Search for Meaning).”