Russian Fashion Editor Sits on a Black Person Posing as a Chair; Apologizes
On MLK Day, "Garage" magazine's Dasha Zhukova was perched on a chair sculpted in the form of a contorted bondage black woman. The Internet did not respond well.
Miroslava Duma, the Moscow-based street style star, former Russian Harper's Bazaar editor and founder of online fashion publication Buro 24/7, is under fire for posting a photograph featuring Garage magazine editor-in-chief Dasha Zhukova sitting on a black woman contorted like a chair.
The image -- which has since been cropped to only show Zhukova without the chair -- was published on Buro 24/7 Monday to accompany an interview with the 32-year-old fashion editor and heiress, who once designed the now-defunct high-end contemporary line Kova & T. The image -- which happened to have been posted on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday -- sparked backlash on Twitter.
THE ORIGINAL IMAGE: Dasha Zhukova sitting on the chair.
The chair, designed by Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, was inspired by a 1969 collection from British pop artist Allen Jones, according to FashionBombDaily.com, which also criticized the piece for creating a message of "white dominance and superiority, articulated in a seemingly serene yet overtly degrading way."
On Tuesday, Duma took to Instagram to issue an apology, writing:
Zhukova, who is dating Russian billionaire and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, also responded to the backlash:
"The chair pictured in the Buro 24/7 website interview is an artwork created by Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, one of a series that reinterprets art historical works from artist Allen Jones as a commentary on gender and racial politics. Its use in this photo shoot is regrettable as it took the artwork totally out of its intended context, particularly given that Buro 24/7's release of the article coincided with the important celebration of the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I regret allowing an artwork with such charged meaning to be used in this context. I utterly abhor racism and would like to apologize to those offended by my participation in this shoot.
Garage Magazine has a strong track record of promoting diversity and racial and gender equality in the worlds of art and fashion, and will continue in our mission to stir positive debate on these and other issues."
What are your thoughts on this so-called art? Let us know in the comments.