The Russian artist Oleg Kulik is a guy who knows how to create an “event” — he slaughtered a pig in the Regina Gallery in Moscow, he bit people while acting like a caged dog in Moscow, New York, Stockholm and Vienna. At the same time, Kulik is a serious artist who takes deliberate care with his final product. For instance, everyone can easily recognize the figure of Anna Kournikova, the Russian tennis star (though her name is never mentioned, as we shiver with fear before American lawyers).
So this sculpture — a kind of sportswoman’s dummy in the shape of Kournikova — turns out to be frighteningly lively, with beads of sweat on her forehead, a gum-baring grin, real sneakers covered with real sand and an uplifted skirt exposing mighty muscles. Enclosed in a glass box, the wax figure drifts above the floor in spite of the laws of gravity. Those interested in the mysteries of art as well as Anna’s sexy thighs can discover that it is the beauty’s natural braid attached to the ceiling that keeps the object aloft.
The combination of the wax’s deathly shine and natural hair produces a shocking effect that is intensified as soon as one notices the taxidermic stitches covering the figure’s hands, legs, neck and abdomen.