Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova has become the face of the masked protest art group

Pussy Riot performs in Santa Monica after a panel discussion featuring Shepard Fairey

The guerilla punk rock activist collective Pussy Riot has been a thorn in Vladimir Putin’s side since 2011. After performing their “Punk Prayer: Mother of God Drive Putin Away” to protest Putin and the church’s roll in his re-election, some of its members were sent off far away to the gulag. That hasn’t slowed them down: Last year they dressed as police officers and stormed a FIFA World Cup soccer pitch.

On Monday at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, Pussy Riot performs after a panel on arts and activism featuring founding member Nadya Tolokonnikova, provocative fine-art photographer Catherine Opie, conceptual artist Tavares Strachan, and seminal street artist Shepard Fairey.

Fairey came to fame for his now iconic Obama political campaign poster “Hope,” Opie surged to prominence for her bold photographs of LGBTQ+ culture during the 1990s, and Strachan has gained note for working with SpaceX to send a sculpture honoring the life of the first African-American astronaut into space.

Moderated by Sotheby Institute of Art – Los Angeles Director Jonathan T. D. Neil, the panel is expected to discuss radical protest and resistance, performance and visual art, abuses of power, freedom and incarceration, and the role of identity during these politically-charged times.

— Christina Campodonico

“Artists, Activism, Agency” starts at 7:30 p.m. and Pussy Riot performs at 9 p.m. Monday (Feb. 11) at The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Tickets are $59 to $89. Call (310) 434-3200 or visit thebroadstage.org/artiststalk2019.

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