The Australian artist Peter Seaton, known as CTO, did not expect a backlash after painting a huge mural in Melbourne showing Ukrainian and Russian soldiers hugging. But the work, Peace Before Pieces, sparked a furore, with some commentators dubbing the piece “Russian propaganda”. Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, pitched in, saying it was “utterly offensive to all Ukrainians”, according to the BBC. The artist tells us, though, that the mural “doesn’t feed into any propaganda narrative as Russia wants to destroy the Ukrainian military, who are allegedly Nazis. My work depicts a sharing of common humanity in the same vein of the Christmas truce of 1914 in World War One between the Germans and the Brits.” All is not lost, though. Seaton is selling NFTs (non-fungible tokens) of the work, and the money raised will be donated to charity, he says.
Australian street artist’s Russia-Ukraine peace gesture backfires
5 October 2022