Dhasha Zhukova, the wife of a Russian oil billionaire and bored art-world butterfly, posted a picture of herself perched atop the supposedly artistic rendering of a black woman, ass-up, legs spread and held in place with a leather strap, nude except for leather hot pants and knee-high black lace-up stiletto boots.
Of course we shouldn’t be offended that the chair depicts a woman of color in a clearly debasing and subservient position in relation to the arrogant white woman languidly and comfortably resting against a contorted human being. We should especially not be offended that the chair is sexually debasing to women of all color. Most of all, however, we should not be offended that this out-of-touch white woman with way too much money and time on her hands chose MLK day to post the picture online.
The chair is the “work” of Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, and is “derivative,” which we all know from Madonna’s comments about Lady Gaga’s work, means “copied.” Here are pictures of the original chair from 1969 by Allen Jones:
Zhukova released a statement to The Moscow Times, saying, “This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an art work intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics. I utterly abhor racism, and would like to apologize to anyone who has been offended by this image.”
So the picture having been taken “completely out of context” means she obviously was not trying to be offensive on Martin Luther King Day, even though she could have waited a day, or used the white woman version of the chair. She abhors racism, but not enough to use a bit of shock racism to promote her nooblet pseudo-art-fashion ragmag, “Garage“.
Maybe someone should tell Zhukova that there are better ways to comment, open dialog and certainly portray people of color and women. Using art as her get-out-of-racist-jail-free card just makes her look like the elitist, haughty quasi-intellectual she most probably is.