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PROPAGANDART

A new art exhibition portrays Vladimir Putin as a superhero

By Hannah Yi

In a new Moscow art exhibition titled “SUPERPUTIN,” Russian president Vladimir Putin is portrayed as, well, super.

There’s a painting of Putin looking steely in a Superman-like outfit, wielding a gigantic “PUTINBLASTER” gun. In another portrait, he’s a cheeky-looking Santa Claus with a wink and a smile.

This might seem ironic or tongue-in-cheek: Not so. The artists, curators, and visitors are Putin enthusiasts, expressing their sincere feelings for the premier. The pop art paintings and statues are reminiscent of propaganda photos that are often released by Russian state media, like Putin riding a horse topless or tranquilizing a tiger. (There’s an entire section of the exhibition dedicated to paintings of Putin cuddling dogs, horses, and other animals.)

The exhibition opened the same day Putin announced his run for a fourth term as president (Dec.6).  Watch our video to see a few of the pieces yourself.