June 07, 2023

War and Beef


War and Beef
Sculpture of a soldier made out of ground pork meat. sen_i_n, Instagram.

Images of sculptures of soldiers and tanks carved from ground pork began circulating after the St. Peterburg publication Bumaga issued an interview with the author of meaty pieces.

Andrey Senin is a relatively unknown anti-war artist from Veliky Novgorod whose Instagram account shares his drawings, sculptures, and street art. Before Russia invaded Ukraine, Senin began posting art criticizing President Vladimir Putin and censorship in Russia. His painting "Fly Me to the Moon" riffed on the Russian president's control over the authoritarian Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov. It features Kadyrov surfing a wave of buildings pulled by a moon with Putin's face.

The Head of the Chechen Republic riding a wave being pulled by a moon with President Putin's face.
The Head of the Chechen Republic, riding a wave pulled by a moon with President Putin's face. / sen_i_n, Instagram.

But what caught Bumaga's attention was the artist's latest work, a series of sculptures called "Russian Ground Meat." Senin posted a picture of a tank made from ground pork and epoxy on May 9, also known as Victory Day in Russia. The date is especially significant, since this is the day that Russia celebrates the Soviet Union's triumph over Germany in World War II with parades of soldiers and missiles. Later, Senin shared a photo of his sculpture of a ground pork soldier alongside a reflection about those who support Russia's invasion of Ukraine: "When will they realize that in these wars they are just [meat] stuffing?" The sculptor told Bumaga that the minced meat represented the Russian government viewing its people as a consumable, while also portraying the fate of those sent to the front.

When asked by Bumaga if he was afraid of being arrested for his work, Senin responded: "I understand that I could have risks in that regard. But I also don't see the possibility of not speaking up. That's why I continue to work."

More of Andrey Senin's work can be found here.

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