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Budaev has a workshop in Moscow near the
downtown Ulitsa Maroseika. | Vladimir Filonov / MT
He make have a sleepy look to him but Andrei Budaev, who is in his late 40s, dress simply but speaks quickly. He has been doing political caricatures for almost 20 years, since the Yeltsin era and is best known for his recreations of classical painting, mainly Russian, with faces of political figures crafted onto them.

"Not one work of art is protected from him in the history of humanity," German news magazine Der Spiegel sardonically commented a few years ago.

Budaev told Der Spiegel that "I bring our politicians back to earth. I want them to understand that they're not gods."

 Photos by budaev

Putin is not exempt: In the final image of one of Budaev’s 2015 calendars, the Russian president stands in a bathroom and smiles at Kolomoisky, tied up and hanging from his arms, as if he is about to start an interrogation. The image is called “Scene in a Bathroom.”

“[Putin] is a complicated man. I don’t know if he’s seen [my work] or not, whether he likes it or not,” Budaev said.

Budaev added that his work is simply meant to be ironic. “I didn’t think up these events,” he said.

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