Recently the Russian art community was shaken by news about the sudden death of Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, an eccentric and outstanding figure of the Russian non-conformism scene. He passed away at the age of 44 and was known as a master of impersonation. During his art career Mamyshev-Monroe portrayed various public figures from political leaders, pop icons, and characters from fairy tales. He performed as Hitler, Putin, Elizabeth II, Madonna, Jesus, and many more. He was known for his first performance of the magnificent Marliyn Monroe. Mamyshev-Monroe used the pop icon image in Sergei Kurekhin’s show “Popular mechanics”. and starred in a media art project called “The Pirate TV” in late 80s where he became the first drag queen in the Soviet Union.
In this 1991 video “Yanvarskaya Vyuga” (January Blizzard), a nude Mamyshev-Monroe struts in thigh-high stockings and writhes coyly in a bathtub. A surreal split-frame shot has his legs spinning one direction, while his body rotates in the other.