Artist Who Painted Putin In Women’s Underwear Seeks Asylum In France


Russian artist Konstantin Altunin, 45, is seeking political asylum in France after Russian authorities raided the gallery where his painting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women’s underwear was displayed, Agence France-Presse reported Thursday.

Police raided the exhibition in Saint Petersburg Tuesday, and confiscated multiple pieces including Altunin’s painting of Putin in a nightgown and Medvedev in a bra and underwear. 

Altunin told AFP he fled Russia immediately after he heard that exhibition organizers had been detained by police. He spoke to the news agency from Paris, where he said he was preparing the necessary documents for political asylum request.

“They have already said directly that my exhibition is extremist — that’s a very serious charge,” he said.


Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at