Ilya Popenko presented his new series “Vlad and John”, created between New York and Moscow, which tells fictional stories of two people, representing two revolutions: the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, led by Vladimir Lenin, and the cultural revolution in the Western world which arrived with the 60’s British Rock Invasion of The Beatles and in particular, John Lennon. Popenko, who prefers to photograph an archetype or an idea rather than a nuanced individual, obstructs or falsifies the identity of the person depicted, by using custom made latex masks. In this tantalizing series, phrased by many as the artist’s ‘best yet’, the masks, breathing paganism and death, represent a brand rather than an individual: brands of Vladimir Lenin and John Lennon. To the delight of a large crowd of guests, Popenko performed along with the pianist Jason Laney of his art-rock band, MAD MEG, right in front of the “Vlad and John” installation.

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