Born in Siberia, Slava Mogutin is a New York based Russian-American artist, author and activist exiled from Russia for his outspoken queer writing and activism. A third-generation writer and self-taught photographer, he became the first Russian to be granted political asylum in the US on the grounds of homophobic persecution. Informed by his bicultural dissident and refugee experience, Mogutin’s work examines the notions of displacement and identity, pride and shame, devotion and disaffection, love and hate.
Mogutin is the author of seven books of writings in Russian, three monographs of photography and two illustrated collections of poetry published in the US, as well as numerous artist editions. He's the winner of Andrei Bely Prize for poetry and the Tom of Finland Foundation Award for artistic achievement.
What desire means to me:
"For me, desire is art and art is desire. Society often seeks to tame and control our desires, imposing norms and expectations that stifle our authenticity. Desire is rebellion, a daring defiance against the mundane, the conventional, and the expected. Desire is the very essence of life, the fuel that ignites the flames within our souls and propels us forward into the unknown. It's that insatiable hunger that aches deep within our hearts, urging us to reach out and grasp the world with both hands, unapologetically and passionately."
photographic print on fabric, 2023