A Russian artist known for his satirical portrayals of Vladimir Putin revealed new works featuring the Russian president in Istanbul on Saturday, according to a report.
Alexander Donskoy unveiled four large paintings in Turkey which were meant to portray Putin as a hero — but authorities in Istanbul quickly removed the art, Reuters reported.
The series, called “Putin is Russia?” was intended to highlight ties between Turkey and Russia, the artist told Reuters, despite the two country’s backing opposing sides in the Syrian conflict.
“Currently, we have an exacerbation of relations with Turkey,” Donskoy told Reuters. “So, I show here, right in the center of Turkey, on its main street where the Russian embassy is at, that Putin is Russia.”
The project included portraits of Russia’s president with the text “Super Putin.”
“I wanted to draw attention to how Putin is taken in Russia: like a superhero. So I wrote on portraits ‘Putin is superhero’,” Donskoy said.
However, ties between Moscow and Ankara have seemingly begun to break down as the Russian-backed Syrian military has clashed with Turkish forces in Idlib.
The artist-provocateur said he wanted to conjure strong emotions and reactions from passersby — and has planned to hold more exhibits elsewhere, including in the United States.
Donskoy has previously been silenced and faced censorship, Surface Magazine reported in 2018.
Donskoy’s first satirical “SuperPutin” exhibit featured 30 pieces of art “killing Putin with kindness” by depicting him firing guns, riding a bear and cuddling leopards, the outlet reported.
But a second exhibit, “Made in North Korea,” prompted ire by showing North Koreans being smuggled out of the country — by the artist’s son.
The exhibit included propaganda posters depicting North Korean forces killing American soldiers, and destroying the U.S. Capitol Building, Surface reported.
Donskoy has also caused a stir for a performance art piece where he led a leashed and barking shirtless man wearing a Donald Trump mask down Moscow streets to mock the US president, the outlet reported.