Ukraine artist creates Putin portrait with bullet shells Face Of War

A young Ukrainian artist has captured global media attention by creating a striking portrait of Russian president Vladimir Putin out of 5,000 bullet shells collected in the separatist east. Daria Marchenko's The Face of War - a realistic and politically tinged depiction of Mr Putin in a dark suit and red tie - stands more than two metres tall and dominates the artist's studio apartment. "Sleeping in the same room with him was a bit scary at first. But I got used to it," the 33-year-old artist and graphic designer said. The 62-year-old Russian leader's face changes expression under different light, his deep-set eyes turning from gloomy to more light-hearted. Marchenko - her own right eyebrow pierced and fingers weighed down by heavy metal rings - demonstrates by drawing the window curtains and shining a hand-held lamp around her work. "He can be proud, confused or serious," she said. "He can look like a person on a Soviet poster or he can be Superman." Her story has been covered by Britain's top media outlets and major European and Australian papers and television channels. But the artist has received barely a mention in Russia - Ukraine's giant neighbour where Mr Putin's approval rating is huge and denial of any involvement in the 16-month conflict is ever-present in the state-dominated media.Only Russia's popular Moskovsky Komsomolets broadsheet broke ranks by devoting a two-sentence paragraph to Marchenko's work last month.

© Dasha Marchenko, 2020