Dmitri Vrubel

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Vrubel during the restoration

Dmitri Vladimirovich Vrubel (Russian: Дмитрий Владимирович Врубель; 14 July 1960 – 14 August 2022) was a Russian painter. He was best known for his East Side Gallery-painting My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love, depicting the kissing communist leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker.

Vrubel was born in Moscow, Soviet Union. His surname is a russification of the common Polish surname Wróbel.

Early life[edit]

He was the only child of two engineers. He started painting at 15 and studied at the graphic art department of the Moscow State V.I. Lenin Pedagogical Institute.[1]

Work[edit]

Vrubel's most famous work is the graffiti piece, painted on the Berlin Wall entitled My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love which depicts the kissing communist leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker.[2]

It was inspired by a photograph captured by photographer Regis Bossu depicting a socialist fraternal kiss between the leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker in 1979, during a celebration of the 30 years of the GDR.[3]

In 2009, the painting was removed by the authorities as part of a cleaning effort in order to have it repainted by Vrubel.[4][5]

Other works[edit]

In 2001, he and his wife, Viktoria Timofeyeva, created a large format calendar containing portraits of Russian President Vladimir Putin called "The 12 moods of Putin".[6] Each page of the calendar portrayed a different image of Putin and was an unexpected hit with the Moscow population.[6][7]

Death[edit]

Vrubel died in Berlin from complications of COVID-19 on 14 August 2022, at the age of 62.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schuetze, Christopher F. (19 August 2022). "Dmitri Vrubel, Who Planted a Kiss on the Berlin Wall, Dies at 62". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Keep a Shadow of the Wall". The New York Times. 2 December 1990. pp. Section 4 page 18 of the New York edition. Retrieved 18 June 2009. In a lampoon of Socialist Realism, a Soviet artist, Dmitri Vrubel, depicts the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev kissing East Germany's former party boss, Erich Honecker. A caption says "God help me to survive this deadly love affair."
  3. ^ A photo here: Kisses which made history, repubblica.it.
  4. ^ Göbel, Malte (27 March 2009). "Kiss of Death: Officials Erase Historic Berlin Wall Mural". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 18 June 2009.
  5. ^ Paterson, Tony (28 March 2009). "The stolen kiss: The Berlin Wall mural is erased". The Independent. Retrieved 18 June 2009.
  6. ^ a b "'Twelve moods of Putin' hits Russia". BBC News. 6 December 2001. Retrieved 18 June 2009.
  7. ^ "Next, they ought to do a t-shirt". United Press International. 7 December 2001. Retrieved 18 June 2009.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Умер художник Дмитрий Врубель" [Dmirtri Vrubel died]. The Insider (in Russian). 14 August 2022. Retrieved 15 August 2022.

External links[edit]