I happened upon Dmitri Deragtchev’s The New Icon (2022) while vacationing in Vancouver BC. As you can see, the piece is quite visually striking and has a lot to unpack. I felt it would be an appropriate feature choice for this column given the current political world climate, and it being Halloween and all. The artist’s statement follows:
For me, all of the evil of the world is now personified in the image of Vladimir Putin. In my work, I want to show people the true image of the “New Icon” created by inhuman propaganda and expose the substitution of familiar iconic images and symbols.
Against a gloomy background, a certain horned Being with the face of Putin is depicted; clad in a purple robe and holding a mushroom-shaped, nuclear fiery goblet in its dead hands. In the blood that fills the goblet, people die, while the Being looks indifferently at their suffering.
On a black halo above the monster’s head are emblems of radiation. Next to the horns are two red stars, one with the hammer and sickle, symbols of communism, and the other with the letter Z, the symbol of Ruscism. (Russian fascism).
My work is a warning: humanity has reached the point where it must decide to exist for the human race, or perish in the fiery goblet of a nuclear apocalypse.
Photographed on Granville Island, Vancouver BC, Canada.
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