Claustrophobic Dog

1995, Oil on Canvas, Size: 31 x 22

In 1993, I had an exhibition at the State Museum of Cosmonautics. Although it was a strange combination of art and technology, it was a well-received, magnificent show. I will never forget the dramatic spectacle surrounding my paintings. The entourage wore actual full-pressure suits and sputniks were used as decorations. When the official part of the show commenced, I escaped the crowd and quietly wandered through the museum. During my stroll, I noticed a stuffed dog in a glass case. It was Laika, the first living passenger carried into space in 1957 by Sputnik 2. As we silently gazed at each other, I realized that she was suffering from claustrophobia. For an animal that flew into the vastness of space, this glass box was exceedingly small. She understood that I knew her little secret and with that, her eyes sparkled. This painting is dedicated to her.

The translation of the Russian text at the bottom of the painting:
Portrait of a Stuffed Dog on display at the State Museum of Cosmonautics after the flight and passing of many years. 1995.