Marilyn Monroe, Madonna and Vladimir Lenin are just three of the subjects on show at a new exhibition which brings the neon work of Russian artists Egor Bogachev and Katya Krasnaya to Erarta Galleries in Zurich. Russian Neon features a number of familiar faces, including Sophia Loren, in the artworks whose images are transformed by intoxicatingly bright colours.

Bogachev’s series Russian Crusades takes contemporary pop culture idols and reworks them as religious icons, combining tsarist garb with neon halos to create works which are “symbols of the ambivalent cultural self-discovery of Russia after the end of the Soviet Union”. 

In his second series, Lenin Line, Bogachev’s work centres on the Russian leader, whose face is merged with a number of spiritual symbols. Inspired in part by the photography of Russian artist and constructivist pioneer Alexander Rodchenko, the neon colours present psychedelic images of the historical leader intended to “neutralise the pathos of Lenin as a historical figure”.

The work of Krasnaya serves as a counterpoint to that of Bogachev’s, combining the artistic techniques of Pop Art with that of street art, for instance by combining an image of a pig with graffiti tags. 

The exhibition will run until 20 May.  

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