Character in a Straitjacket (Персонаж в смирительной рубашке), 2012

The extended series of colour compositions we have called Statements (заявления) demonstrates Sergei Trubin’s skill in combining original artwork with social and political subtexts.

The earliest of these works is from 1993, when Trubin was experimenting with stylised human and animal shapes, then a couple pf years later he started adding postage stamps and other scraps of paper ephemera, often making a subtle statement about the subject matter of the painting. Thus in the 1994 composition A Little Tragedy (Маленькая трагедия) he incorporates several stamps from the 1941 German invasion issue overprinted ‘Ostland’, while the 2006 Forgotten Game (Забытая игра) includes stamps featuring Lenin from 1961.

His 2012 Character in a Straitjacket (Персонаж в смирительной рубашке), with Vladimir Putin eyeing a portrait of Napoleon, is particularly prescient.