Roman Manikhin's gloriously saucy burlesque series

14 July 2016

Moscow-based artist Roma Manikin’s series of paintings Three-legged Bearded Woman Throws a Wedding Bouquet is a humorously saucy study of burlesque and the cheeky hyperbole of work and play in the circus.

Roma apparently joined a traveling circus in his teenage years, paintings read like a surreal journal of the wondrous sights and people he met during his time with the troop. He treats his subjects with simultaneous reverence and irreverence, depicting them astride shopping trolleys and straddling yukka plants, angle grinding and bursting topless out of a giant cake.

“I aimed to research psychology of the unconscious and sexuality. Of childhood traumas and desires of a contemporary man. Of the world where women dominate. I also aimed to show that we can laugh at these topics as well and see funny sides of it,” says Roma.

The paintings embody the spirit of burlesque, saucy and sexually charged but never exploitative or pornographic. The portraits are hyperbolic, subtly toeing the lie between cubism and caricature. Yet they capture an emotional authenticity in their joyously risqué occupation: their pendulous breasts freely swinging as they smoke cigarettes in handstands or swallowing swords, saws and copious quantities of whipped cream.

He graduated from Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry with a degree in communication design in 2008; he has exhibited his work in Russian and Germany in a number of collective shows and his latest works formed a solo exhibition at in Moscow.


Roma Manikhin: Nadya lights the stars, 2015; Dessert, 2014


Roma Manikhin: Wedding Bouquet, 2015


Roma Manikhin: Cold and Hot, 2016; Swallowers of Swords Went to Work, 2015


Roma Manikhin: Circus maximus I, 2014


Roma Manikhin: Margarita


Roma Manikhin: Margarita, 2016


Roma Manikhin: Cinderella, 2016


Roma Manikhin: Circus maximus II, 2014

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Jamie Green

Jamie joined It’s Nice That back in May 2016 as an editorial assistant. And, after a seven-year sojourn away planning advertising campaigns for the likes of The LEGO Group and Converse, he came back to look after New Business & Partnerships here at It’s Nice That. Get in touch with him to discuss new business opportunities, and how we can work together on creative partnerships, insights, experiences or advertising.

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