Alexei Taranin is a qualified artist from Russia. His painting “Mauern International” (Walls across the world) places an ironic focus on walls in different countries. He painted it over his original picture of mating rabbits, which the Gallery’s coordinator at the time, Christine MacLean, rejected for being offensive.
At first glance, Taranin’s “Mauern International” (Walls across the world) resembles a children’s storybook illustration. Together with a rabbit – Taranin’s trademark – the viewer looks through four windows in four rooms on to four walls: the Kremlin wall in Moscow, the Chinese Wall, the Berlin Wall, and an undefined wall. The latter is labelled “everywhere” and stands not only for physical walls but also for mental barriers. With this painting, Taranin satirised physical and mental barriers and how we deal with them.
Taranin studied art in Moscow and worked as a book illustrator. He set up a workshop in a vacant house in Moscow with a group of artists who dubbed the work they produced there, showing satirical rather than political content, PostSozArt. Taranin came to Berlin in 1990. He was one of the first artists to paint a picture for the East Side Gallery. In 1991 Taranin’s work was exhibited in Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg. He now lives and works in Moscow as an illustrator for newspapers and websites.