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In this issue

Making icons has become the ultimate ambition of any artist looking to surface from the big polyphonic hubbub of the second half of the 21st century. Expert in the field, Shepard Fairey is able to turn Barack Obama into the Holy saint of Hope and revive the French Republican Marianne. Invited in Moscow, Fairey appropriated Mayakovsky tragic poetic figure, a companion of the Bolshevik revolution who committed suicide at 36 after a game of Russian Roulette, which ending he might not have controlled by heavily charging his revolver. It is precisely what the American artist points out: images are ambiguous but icons are absolute. They compel everyone whatever form they take. All political powers from Lenin to Putin have celebrated the Mayakovsky myth: an inspiring figure, an absolute troubadour, and, conveniently, a great genius so concerned with his art that he left it up to others to dirty their hands with trivial politics. Shepard Fairey restores the ambiguity of the Mayakovsky icon by associating it the dreadful quote by Brecht: “Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it”. In contrast with this gallery of icons, Faith XLVII invites us to explore mystery, to look at her works with our own darkness, leaving the spectator free to interpret her images. Further down the road, photographer Fred Mortagne liberates us with the disappearance of his riders in the meander of contemporary architecture. Peace is restored away from the turmoil of our senses.

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