(Non-Traditional) Matryoshka Dolls

(Non-Traditional) Matryoshka Dolls
Pussy Riot (in progress)
Alla Nazimova
Alla Nazimova
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Gogol and Ivan the Terrible
Ivan the Terrible (Ivan IV Vasilyevich)
(Non-Traditional) Matryoshka Dolls

(Non-Traditional) Matryoshka Dolls

Oil on panel, various dimensions, 2014.

Pussy Riot (in progress)

Oil on panel, 7" x 3" x 3", 2014.

Alla Nazimova

Oil on panel, 5.75" x 2.25" x 2.25", 2014.

Alla Nazimova

Oil on panel, 5.75" x 2.25" x 2.25", 2014.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Oil on panel, 4" x 1.75" x 1.75", 2014.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Oil on panel, 4" x 1.75" x 1.75", 2014.

Gogol and Ivan the Terrible

Oil on panel, 3" x 1.5" x 1.5" / 1.75" x 0.5" x 0.5", 2014.

Ivan the Terrible (Ivan IV Vasilyevich)

Oil on panel, 1.75" x 0.5" x 0.5", 2014.

(Non-Traditional) Matryoshka Dolls

Oil on panel, various dimensions, 2014.

(Non-Traditional) Matryoshka Dolls thumbnail
Pussy Riot (in progress) thumbnail
Alla Nazimova thumbnail
Alla Nazimova thumbnail
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky thumbnail
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky thumbnail
Gogol and Ivan the Terrible thumbnail
Ivan the Terrible (Ivan IV Vasilyevich) thumbnail
(Non-Traditional) Matryoshka Dolls thumbnail

 

ARTIST STATEMENT // (NON-TRADITIONAL) MATRYOSHKA DOLLS

The anti-gay law in Russia is, specifically, a ban on “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”. The purpose of my series is to raise awareness by opening up the question, “what is traditional?” What does “traditional” mean both in Russia’s own historical context and in the formation of cultural histories?

These paintings depict prominent LGBT Russians on raw, milled matryoshka dolls (in chronological order, ascending in scale): Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584), Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852), Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) and Alla Nazimova (1879-1945) – a known “tradition” of homosexuality throughout Russian history. The feminist punk rock Pussy Riot, LGBT rights activists, are represented by the largest and outermost doll, encapsulating the series.

The traditional Russian matryoshka dolls, themselves, were inspired by a doll from Honshu, the main island of Japan; a hollow and/or nesting doll depicting an old Buddhist monk.[1]

The matryoshka doll is an official souvenir for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

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