There are things that are wrong, and things that are unforgivable. Russian billionaire Dasha Zhukova’s recent feature in Buro 24/7 edges closer to the latter—and not only because it came out on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Featuring Zhukova, a 32-year-old Russian oil billionaire, perched atop a fetish chair designed to look like a dummy of a contorted, half-naked black woman, the article has since caused an explosion of outrage online. But, apparently, we shouldn’t worry because it’s “art.”
Zhukova is a well-known player in the international art scene, having tapped France’s Vogue editor, Joan Juliet Buck, to get her magazine, Garage, up and running. Accordnig to a an Instagram apology from Zhukova, the chair is a reference to the work of Allen Jones, which of course makes everything OK in some strange Russian way.
Especially since the photo, which was “a commentary on gender and racial politics,” was “published completely out of context.” Though, to be fair, it’s tough to imagine a context in which the above image is not offensive.