© Alexander Kargaltsev

On the day the world was reflecting on civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an online magazine chose to publish an article with a photo of a Russian socialite sitting on a chair with a Black woman underneath dressed in bondage.

A gay Russian artist has created a protest piece in response to an image of Dacha Zhukova, the partner of Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, sitting on a chair made from a black mannequin.

Kargaltsev described Zhukova’s decision to be photographed on the Allen Jones-inspired chair as “appalling and unacceptable” and told that he felt so compelled to respond.

The artist, who was forced to leave Russia for New York because of the discrimination he experienced as a gay man, said he chose to depict two men sitting on each other to make a statement about racism, xenophobia and homophobia in Russia.


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

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