Gallery owner Dasha Zhukova sparked an internet outrage and allegations of racism when a photograph of her was published on a Russian website portraying her posed serenely on a chair fashioned from a contorted mannequin of a black woman.
To make matters worse, the photograph of the Russian socialite and girlfriend of oligarch Roman Abramovich was published on Martin Luther King Day which is a national holiday in the US, causing the photograph to be condemned by bloggers and internet users. The photograph was published to accompany an interview with Dasha about her art magazine Garage.
Dasha has since however defended the image stating “This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an art work intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics. I utterly abhor racism, and would like to apologise to anyone who has been offended by this image.”