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Elephant art show in Moscow


An exhibition of paintings, all featuring elephants, has opened in Moscow. The organisers of the 'Russia is the Homeland of Elephants' display say they have been surprised how many paintings are dedicated to these animals and decided to put them all on show.

Big and small, multi-coloured and black-and-white, they are hanging on the walls of the 'Pop-off Art' gallery.

Painters, whose works are on display, say that these animals have been part of Russian culture for many years.

"Elephants originally appeared in the Russian North, they were called mammoths and were very hairy because it was very cold," said Yury Tatyanin, painter.

Yury Tatyanin dedicated his work to plans for a major elephant park in Russia. But the painter believes it has never opened because the Soviet times ended.

One of the oldest paintings on display was created in 1979 by Andrey Vasnetsov.

"Vasnetsov said that this painting was his self-portrait. I explain it in this way: some painters are so great and so remarkable compared with others, that they are really like elephants," commented Sergey Popov, gallery art director.

Among other elephants on show are some red ones, ridden by the 'Simpsons' characters – the work which resembles a famous painting "Bathing of a Red Horse" by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin. There are some Chinese elephants and some with traditional Russian backgrounds.

But the organisers say that it's not the elephant image itself but the idea behind it that the display is all about.

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