VOA - "Face of War" in US Congress

A young Ukrainian artist has created a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin with bullet casings. The exhibit, called the "Face of War," opened last week in Washington, D.C. The artist is 33-year-old Daria Marchenko. She used 5,000 empty shell casings that came from the frontline of war in eastern Ukraine. Ms. Marchenko's exhibit consists of only picture – the face of Mr. Putin. She said she got the idea when her boyfriend brought her a handful of shells. Those bullet shells came from the EuroMaidan protests in Kyiv.

The artist said her work is a sign of respect to her country's soldiers. "The energy of this project is very dark. I mean, you cannot be cheerful while doing projects like that. But I was not able to stop it, either. This is my sign of respect for all of those Ukrainian soldiers, thanks to whom I still live in the capital of my country, Kyiv, without the war."

Exhibit organizers used razor wire to surround the portrait. Ms. Marchenko also uses light to bring life to her portrait. As the lighting changes, Mr. Putin's facial expression seems to change, too. His look may go from excited to afraid to even evil. Ms. Marchenko first presented her project to the public this summer. Since then, she has received letters from people in Algeria, the Netherlands, Syria, and Russia. The artist said she hopes the Russian president finds out about the exhibit, and perhaps changes his own behavior. "I think there is no dictator in the world who will tell you honestly what kind of thoughts he has when he is alone in the cold night. But I believe they can feel what kind of future is waiting for them."

© Даша Марченко, 2024