Russian Socialite Says Posing On Black Woman Bondage Chair Was ‘Art’

A Russian socialite who was photographed posing on a chair sculpted to look like a naked black woman is defending the image as art that was “published completely out of context.”

Russian fashion blog Buro 24/7 ran an interview Monday with Dasha Zhukova, the girlfriend of Russian oligarch and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, that focused on her art magazine Garage. A photo of Zhukova dressed in jeans and a shirt, resting her back on the boots of a black mannequin whose contorted body formed the base of her chair.

Since the photograph sparked Internet outrage on Martin Luther King Day, the chair has been largely cropped out of the image displayed on the blog.

Buro 24/7 founder Miroslava Duma posted the image to her Instagram account and later removed it, according to the blog FashionBombDaily. She replaced the image with an apology, saying the chair “should only be seen as a piece of art which was created by British Pop-Artist Allen Jones, and not as any form of racial discrimination.”

Zhukova also denied the photograph was racist, arguing the image was intended to comment on racial politics.

“This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an art work intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics,” she said in a statement, as quoted by the Guardian. “I utterly abhor racism, and would like to apologise to anyone who has been offended by this image.”

The ’60s era Allen Jones-designed chair that apparently served as inspiration for the photo currently sits in London’s Tate Modern gallery.

[h/t Huffington Post]

Image via Buro 24/7