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Art Auction to Benefit the People of Ukraine

Monday, April 4, 2022 from 12:00 pm - Monday, April 11, 2022 from 12:00 pm

Owen Brown
Zelensky and Putin, “Villains and Victims Series #3”
Acrylic on canvas, 36 in x 48 in

Please join us for a special online art auction to benefit the people of Ukraine and Ukrainian Refugees.  The winning bid will be tax deductible to the extent allowable by law as a donation to The Museum of Russian Art (TMORA), which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All proceeds from this auction will go to Ukraine relief, directed to the following organizations: GlobalGiving, International Rescue Committee, Doctors Without Borders, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Bidding open from April 4 – 11, 2022.



Owen Brown was born in Chicago, trained as a classical musician, took his first art class at 23, and much of what he’s wanted to do since then has been paint.

Brown holds degrees from Yale College and the University of Chicago, and was a degree student at California College of the Arts. He lived for over 30 years in San Francisco, where he was represented by Meridian Gallery. He now lives in Minneapolis.

Brown has exhibited in juried shows and solo exhibits throughout the United States, Europe and Canada. His works have been acquired by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Nature Conservancy, and the Weisman Museum of Minneapolis, and can be found in collections in this country, Europe, and Asia. Brown has had residencies at Air Le Parc in France in 2017, and at the Land Institute in Kansas in 2018, where he created his first installation: “Units of Measure.” He is represented nationally by Holly Hunt and Gallery 13, he shows regionally at Veronique Wantz and Grand Hand, and has collaborated with artists of other disciplines, such as Emily Wolahan, and Ashley Richardson, poets, and Anat Shinar, choreographer.

His art has been reviewed or published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Vostos, the Dew Drop, the Exeter Bulletin, Aesthetica, The Land Report, A2, F3LL Magazine, Wild Roof Journal, Beyond Words, Closed Eye, The Space Between the Stars, and Paragon. Meridian Gallery Press published a monograph of Brown’s work for the opening of his show Ideasthesia. His work was also included in the Society for Art Publications of the America’s final publication: Trees of the Field. He was an invitee at Art Prize Nine and invited to show at the since-cancelled 2020 Kochi Biennale, in Kochi, India. A detailed exhibit list is available on request.

From the Artist:

Here war is simple like a monument:

A telephone is speaking to a man;

Flags on a map assert that troops were sent;

A boy brings milk in bowls. There is a plan

For living men in terror of their lives,

Who thirst at nine who were to thirst at noon,

And can be lost and are, and miss their wives,

And, unlike an idea, can die too soon.

But ideas can be true although men die,

And we can watch a thousand faces

Made active by one lie:

And maps can really point to places

Where life is evil now:

Nanking. Dachau.

Auden published this sonnet in 1939, and barely 80 years later, we can put our fingers on a map where life is again evil, add an iamb to his last triplet, have it read:

And maps can really point to places

Where life is evil now:

Nanking. Ukraine. Dachau.

The pity of it. The perverse and violent, murderous stupidity. Life is troublesome in the best of times. We should strive for peace and pleasure, not strife. Yet here’s where we are, here, today.

All the more power to Zelensky, and to the heroic Ukrainian people, who faced their invaders, and face them still. I paint Zelensky enchaired, not enchained, steadfast, with Ukrainian flag sheltering his sides. Two pygmy Putins accompany him, as well as two scenes of destruction: an apartment house, a Russian troop carrier. (Spare a thought for these poor Russian recruits, victims as well of Putin’s lies.) The painting is the third of my Villains and Victims series – the first, incidentally, being Navalny and Putin. I didn’t think I would have Putin again as a subject. Events sped my brush. The world will always surprise us.

As should a painting. Art can’t do much more than pay attention. But attention must be paid, here, and to other injustices. Art should honor the good, and support those resolute. No one wants to be a hero, we mostly want to live tranquil lives. Yet here we see resolution and bravery, daily, in the face of oppression. Let us support them in their hour of need. Slava Ukraini, Heroiam slava!


Monday, April 4, 2022 from 12:00 pm
Monday, April 11, 2022 from 12:00 pm