Slava Mogutin at a conference in Beirut, 2012
|Born||Ярослав Могутин (Yaroslav Mogutin)
April 12, 1974
Kemerovo, Siberia, Russia
|Known for||Photography, multimedia, visual arts, literature|
Slava Mogutin (full name Yaroslav Yurievich Mogutin, b. April 12, 1974, Kemerovo) is a New York-based Russian artist and author, who works across different media, including photography, video, text, installation, sculpture, and painting. He is a gay rights activist who has dedicated his life to receive fair treatment in his home country.
Life in Russia
Born in Siberia, in the industrial city of Kemerovo, to the family of a little known Soviet poet, Mogutin moved to Moscow as a teenager to separate himself from the elders. He soon began working as a journalist for the first independent Russian publishers, newspapers and radio stations. By the age of 21, he had gained both critical acclaim and official condemnation for his outspoken queer writings and activism. Accused of "open and deliberate contempt for generally accepted moral norms"; "malicious hooliganism with exceptional cynicism and extreme insolence"; "inflaming social, national, and religious division"; "propaganda of brutal violence, psychic pathology, and sexual perversions" – he came under harassment and a continuous criminal investigation. The situation further escalated when Mogutin attempted to register the first same-sex marriage in Russian history, with his partner at the time Robert Filippini. This led him to become the target of two highly publicized criminal cases, carrying a potential prison sentence of up to 7 years. The criminal cases were initiated after his publications in Novy Vzglyad – scandalous political independent newspaper headed at the time by Yevgeny Dodolev. In Novy Vzglyad, Mogutin met Eduard Limonov, who eventually became his spiritual mentor. Confined to about three years of house arrest and increasing tension with the lingering criminal cases, Mogutin fled.
Exile in New York
Forced to leave Russia, Mogutin was granted political asylum in the US with the support of Amnesty International and PEN American Center. This asylum to the US became the first to be granted based on homophobic prosecution. Upon his arrival in New York City, he shifted his focus to visual art and became an active member of the downtown art scene. Since 1999, his photography has been exhibited internationally and featured in a wide range of publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice, i-D, Visionaire, L'Uomo Vogue, Secret Behavior, and BUTT.
Mogutin is the author of two hardcover monographs of photography – Lost Boys and NYC Go-Go – and seven books of writings published in Russian. The inspiration for his works in Lost Boys is credited with his return to Russia when Vladimir Putin takes office in 2000 and charges against him were lifted. He is the winner of the Andrei Belyi Prize for Literature (2000). His poetry, fiction, essays, and interviews have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies in 6 languages. He has translated into Russian Allen Ginsberg's poetry, William S. Burroughs' essays and Dennis Cooper's fiction. He appeared as an actor in Bruce LaBruce's agitprop porn movie Skin Flick (1999) and Laura Colella's independent feature Stay Until Tomorrow (2004). On July 14, 2017, Mogutin published his work Bros and Brosephines. A collection of photographs that display his artistic talent during the last two decades.
After becoming a US citizen in 2011, Mogutin officially changed his name to Slava. Today he continues to work on his multimedia art and has publicly criticized the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin for his homophobic political policies.
In 2004, together with his partner-collaborator Brian Kenny, he co-founded SUPERM, a multimedia art team responsible for site-specific gallery and museum shows in New York City, Los Angeles, Moscow, Berlin, London, Oslo, Bergen, Haifa, and León, Spain.
On August 2, 2013, Mogutin debuted "In The Name of Love," at iMOCA in Indianapolis. It was curated by the Madrid-born culture writer and editor, Karla D. Romero. It was a collaborative exhibition of individual pieces by Mogutin and others from SUPERM.
- Mogutin, Slava (2006). Lost Boys. Brooklyn, NY: PowerHouse. ISBN 9781576873304.
- Mogutin, Slava (2008). NYC Go-Go. New York: PowerHouse. ISBN 9781576874431.
- Mogutin, Slava (2017). Bros &brosephines. Getsy, David, Wandrag, Jan, 1976-. Brooklyn, NY: Powerhouse. ISBN 9781576878248.
- Avery, Dan (12/5/2006). "Red Scare". The Advocate (976): p74–75. Retrieved 2017-10-25. Check date values in:
- Lost Boys at PowerHouse Books
- NYC Go-Go at PowerHouse Books
- Avery, Dan (December 2006). "Red scare". Advocate. 976: 74–75 – via EBSCO Host.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20080405050326/http://www.nlobooks.ru/eng/107/109/428/. Archived from the original on April 5, 2008. Retrieved June 5, 2008. Missing or empty
- https://web.archive.org/web/20160304052533/http://www.stayuntiltomorrow.com/. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2014. Missing or empty
- Slava,, Mogutin, (2017). Bros & brosephines. Getsy, David,, Wandrag, Jan, 1976-. Brooklyn, NY: Powerhouse Books. ISBN 9781576878248. OCLC 952154272
- BRIAN KENNY
- Various reviews for Lost Boys:
- NYC Go-Go review in The Advocate Archived 2008-07-04 at the Wayback Machine.
- Slava,, Mogutin, (2017). Bros & brosephines. Getsy, David,, Wandrag, Jan, 1976-. Brooklyn, NY: Powerhouse Books. ISBN 9781576878248. OCLC 952154272.
- Official website
- Slava Mogutin's blog
- on YouTube
- Slava Mogutin's unofficial site (in Russian)
- Environmental Pictures in Visura Magazine
- Artist profile in Fotograf Magazine