Advocate Magazine Spotlights Artist Alexei Biryukoff: Banned for obscenity in Siberia

by Accidental Bear
Banned for obscenity in Siberia, Biryukoff’s large-scale male figure paintings are like landscapes of expressive strokes and earthy color.

By Christopher Harrity at


Alexei Biryukoff was born in Kyrgyzstan, later lived in Kazakhstan, and moved to Russia in 1990, the year before the Soviet Union fell apart. Since 2011 he has been living and working in Deptford, N.J. He is a self-taught artist, having never attended art school. Before he got his master’s degree in linguistics in 2000, he had his first solo show at a small local gallery in Siberia. At that point he devoted his focus full-time to being an artist. Since then he has had nine solo shows and participated in international group shows and biennials. After receiving a grant from CEC Artslink in New York City in 2008, he came for his first visit to the United States and spent five weeks in art residency in Provincetown, Mass., in one of the oldest art colonies in the States.

Alexei’s work is predominantly large-scale nudes of older fat men who are trying to survive in the glamorous fitness model culture imposed worldwide. His first show that included nudes, in 2004, was considered obscene because of the male nudity and was closed down by local officials in Barnaul, a city in southwestern Siberia.

But nudes are only one aspect of his work. One of his previous shows was dedicated to the terrorist attack in Beslan, Chechnya.

Besides the visuals, Alexei’s shows usually include sound art and/or a performance piece. He is active in experimental underground music and is known as Muhmood in the subculture of dark, ambient, drone, and noise recordings. He has released albums on various online labels, and all of his music is free to download from the Muhmood website.



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