Ekaterina Muromtseva

A Tough Male Portrait (2019)

A Moscow tennis coach all of a sudden decides to become an artist and obsessively paints a life-size portrait of Vladimir Putin from a well-known photograph, hoping to give it to him as a present: in 2022, with Russia’s full-fledged invasion of Ukraine, such a story takes on an ever more sinister dimension.

To a shrewd observer of society such as filmmaker and artist Ekaterina Muromtseva, all the elements of today’s situation were already present when she made her film a few years ago: unabashed propaganda mechanisms, a dangerous fascination with power, and the uncontrollable desire to translate this fascination into images. Today, the tennis coach regrets having painted the dictator, and opposes Russia’s war of aggression.

Ekaterina Muromtseva (1990, Moscow, Russia) is a photographer, filmmaker, and graphic artist with a background in philosophy and stage design. Her lyrical-conceptual work investigates personal and collective memory through imaginative forms of documentation. She has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art; XL Gallery, Moscow; and was part of steirischer herbst ’18. She lives in New York.

HD video, 14′43″

Russian with English subtitles