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Petersburg Artist Dies in Bali

Published: March 27, 2013 (Issue # 1752)



  • Vlad Monroe as Dostoevsky in Baden-Baden.
    Photo:

Leningrad-born pop artist Vladislav Mamishev-Monroe died in Bali at the age of 43. The artist drowned in a hotel pool on March 16th, but the death was only reported last Thursday.

Monroe was a leading figure of the 1980s, perestroika art scene. The artist’s often controversial works are self-portraits of a sort: he is best known for his adoption of the personas of pop culture icons, from Marilyn Monroe to the Soviet film darling Lyubov Orlova.

Monroe’s oeuvre also extended to artistic, political and historical heavy hitters from Christ to the Mona Lisa to Putin. In recent years, his artistic role was joined by that of activist, for gay rights in Russia.

Monroe, who took his pseudonym from the American movie star who was among his first subjects, looked at each work as a complete transformation into the figure he painstakingly imitated.

“First I copy the face of the person from photographs, change my clothes and stand in front of the camera… And then — click! And for a few seconds, the essence enters my body,” he told Moskovsky Komsomolets in an interview the very week of his death.

Monroe spoke to the Moscow-based newspaper while on a visit from Bali, where he had been living since 2007. He had returned to Russia to launch his latest project, a collection of images from his role as Polonius in a production of Hamlet, at the Moscow Multimedia Art Museum. The museum has announced that admission to the exhibit, part of the larger Fashion and Style in Photography festival, will now be free until the end of its run on May 26.

Monroe will be buried in St. Petersburg.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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