Sergey Shoigu

Sergey Shoigu nuances public image with art exhibition

Russia’s top leaders are known for many talents. Vladimir Putin, for example, is also a famous martial artist, horseback rider, wildlife conservationist, hang glider pilot, underwater archeologist, and a truck driver.

Now, defense minister Sergey Shoigu shows that there are also other sides to him than political life. He is apparently a skilled artist, and he displays some of his works at the National Museum in Kyzyl in his home region of Tyva. That reports Voenno-Promyshlenny Kurjer.

Shoigu does different kinds of arts. The displayed pieces are objects of carved cedar wood like vases, sculptures and small boxes. Shoigu’s wood carvings are the ones in the first picture in this Facebook post.

I am unable to judge the artistic qualities of the wood carvings. A representative from the cultural department in the Ministry of Defense notices that Shoigu is especially gifted as a graphical artist and a painter, which is interesting given that such pieces are not on display.

The art works are a part of a larger exhibition to celebrate the centennial of the Red Army. On opening day, Shoigu showed the exhibition to a delegation of defense ministers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and from the defense command in Russia. The museum notes that the delegation was surprised to see the private works of Shoigu in the exhibition.

At the time of this writing, the Museum’s post only has 34 reactions from Facebook users, and the picture of Shoigu’s art has four likes. That is a surprisingly small number. It does make you wonder how the famous Russian cyber bots could miss this opportunity.

One could speculate that Putin and Shoigu have coordinated their public non-political appearances to appeal to different segments. Putin has created an image of strong masculinity, while Shoigu’s artistic expressions send a more reflective and emotional message.

The exhibition with Shoigu’s wood carvings is open until the end of June.




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