Slava_BLAB_web Slava Mogutin by Bruce LaBruce.

A name that consistently and unfailingly is brought to the fore in the context of contemporary queer art is interdisciplinary Russian born artist and activist Slava Mogutin. Mogutin's career skyrocketed very early on as a journalist in Moscow in the early 90's, the only openly gay personality in Russian media at the time. He was praised for his outspokeness and nonconformist views but was also heavily criticized (hardly no surprise given the situation some twenty years later). Accusations ran along the lines of; "inflaming social, national, and religious division" and "propaganda of brutal violence, psychic pathology, and sexual perversions." In 1995, Mogutin left Russia in exile and was then the first Russian to be granted political asylum by U.S. authorities on the account of homophobic persecution.

Slava_MoscowWedding1993_1 A documented performance dating back to 1993 for which Slava and his then-boyfriend staged a public marriage.

Mogutin is since then based in NYC where he lives and works with his partner, artist and musician Brian Kenney. Hailing from completely different backgrounds, socially as well as geographically, the couple creates art employing a range of media under the name of SUPERM - their "love baby" as they've also referred to it. Individually as well as through his collaborative efforts with Kenney, Mogutin puts themes revolving queer iconography, gender, urban subcultures and adolescent sexuality to the forefront. It's refreshingly bold.

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Mogutin's work has been published in most major art magazines and is a regular contributor to cooler-than-thou publications such as Vice, Flaunt, BUTT. Aside from having two highly successful monographs titled Lost Boys and NYC Go-Go to his credit, his work has been exhibited at renowned institutions such as MoMA PS1 in NYC and Witte de With Center in Rotterdam. Below is a tiny selection (of slightly less risqué work) including a video work from his vast body of work.

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Slap Peace; Slava Mogutin's tribute to Marina Abramovic and Ulay's performance Light-Dark (1977).

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