Slava Mogutin – The art of Provoking.

Slava Mogutin is a Russian, New York based, artist and author, working across different media, such as photography, video, text, installation, sculpture and painting. While living in Russia, he was repeatedly targeted for his writing and activism. He was eventually forced to leave his country and seek political asylum in the US. His provocative artwork has been exhibited worldwide.

Slava Mogutin, 'Sneaker Pig'
Slava Mogutin, ‘Sneaker Pig’
Slava Mogutin, 'Egged Skinhead'
Slava Mogutin, ‘Egged Skinhead’

How old were you when you were forced to leave Russia? Have you visited your home in Kemerovo or Moscow recently?

I left Russia back in 1995 and lived in NY happily since. I haven’t visited Kemerovo since I was 6 years old and don’t really miss it. Last time I was in in Moscow was back in 2005 for my show at the 1st Moscow Bienniale and I haven’t missed it either. Putin’s Russia is a disaster on all accounts.

Slava Mogutin, 'Dungeon Lovers'
Slava Mogutin, ‘Dungeon Lovers’

What made you shift from being a writer to a photographer and visual artist?

I was always taking pictures and writing poetry and that hasn’t changed.

Slava Mogutin, 'Anton Roof Cock'
Slava Mogutin, ‘Anton Roof Cock’

When did your fascination with the fetish scene begin?

My fascination with the fetish scene begun with my first arrest in Moscow at the age of 16. I was amazed that people in uniform can cause so much harm to people without such uniform and the rest is history…

Slava Mogutin, 'Boot Licker'
Slava Mogutin, ‘Boot Licker’

What do you consider to be the highlight of your career until now?

I’m still waiting for that highlight but it’s taking a bit longer than I expected ;-))

Slava Mogutin, 'Ben and Ginger'
Slava Mogutin, ‘Ben and Ginger’

What is your relationship with the social media? (facebook, tumblr, instagram)

Things we do for money… Things we do for self-promotion… Things we do for the Great $atan…

Slava Mogutin, 'Piss Rubbers'
Slava Mogutin, ‘Piss Rubbers’

Q: What does art mean to you?

Life without art is worthless.

Slava Mogutin, 'Sock Monkey'
Slava Mogutin, ‘Sock Monkey’

Which artists inspire you?

Artists that are already dead and didn’t have a chance to embarrass themselves.

Slava Mogutin, 'Star Wars Tiger'
Slava Mogutin, ‘Star Wars Tiger’

Are there any upcoming projects you’re currently working on?

An album of torch songs about lost love. A new book of spam poems and another book about Prince Charming $atan. Plus a show about censorship that I’m curating with Mr. Bruce LaBruce.

Interview by Yannis Skarakis

Slava Mogutin, 'Marco Masked'
Slava Mogutin, ‘Marco Masked’
Slava Mogutin, '4 Boots'
Slava Mogutin, ‘4 Boots’