An unusual exhibition opened in the Yesenin Center


Dogs and cats try on marine and royal uniforms

The Yesenin Center hosts an exhibition of the St. Petersburg artist Marina Okuneva “Our Reflection”. The paintings depict pets of various breeds, which, by the artist’s brush, turned out to be dressed in human costumes and dresses, uniforms and housecoats, acquired character and a life’s work.

From the portraits look cats and dogs, whose breed and look have made aristocrats. Names to match the character: “Paul” with a blue ribbon over his shoulder and in an imperial hat, “Lady Brin” against the cloudy sky in a luxurious noblewoman’s dress, with a fragile hand instead of a shaggy paw, “Mother Charlie” – a portrait for the family collection, which will hang for a long time in the gallery of the family estate. You look at the paintings and see the very reflection that the name of the exhibition speaks of. It seems that it’s not the pets who happily play with the owners in the morning and run through the grass on walks that look from the canvases, but the people whom you seem to have seen somewhere.

Everything here is like people’s – from workers and villagers to aristocrats. Seriously and detached from the painting “Shket” looks a village dog (or a man?) In a shirt open at the neck and in a red hat on one side. Dissimilar to each other, “Sailors” in uniform, sternly, like real employees, look at visitors. The gaze falls on a simple and recognizable thing that can be found in every Russian village – on a married couple whose love has been tested for years – the painting “Inhuman Happiness”. Both are in sheepskin coats, she is in a red scarf and warm mittens with the first flowers of early spring in her hands, and not in dog paws. This is such an inexpressible and simple “inhuman” happiness.

Significant for Russians images of athletes who know how to unite the country in the struggle for victories are depicted in the paintings “We must win”, “Fierce. Captain of the Red Dogs”, “Goalkeeper”. When looking at dog muzzles, one immediately recalls the human, national joy and pride for each team victory in the red and blue uniforms of hockey players and football players with a personal number on their chests.

While visitors are looking at the paintings, songs are heard in the hall, reminiscent of the importance of humane treatment of animals – the main idea of ​​the Sergey Yesenin Museum’s project “Give me a paw for luck…”, within which the exhibition takes place. You hear: “At noon or at midnight a friend will come to the rescue,” and you involuntarily think what good friends those who look from the pictures with a thoughtful human look can be. Artist Marina Okuneva was able to turn animals into recognizable human types and characters.

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