Olga Vishnevsky lives in Saint Petersburg, Russia and is an artist. Her work has even made it onto the front pages in Russia because she does something very special: She creates Pepe versions of famous paintings.
Pepe the Frog was first featured in a completely apolitical comic in 2005. In the US presidential election campaign of 2016, the little green comic hero became a symbol of right-wing meme culture.
It even went so far that Hillary Clinton indirectly referred to Pepe in a speech. At that time, the US Democrats were being trolled with thousands of Pepe memes every day.
The reactions from the left were not long in coming. In 2016, the Anti-Defamation League declared the frog a racist symbol of hatred.
The Pepe creator Matt Furie tried unsuccessfully to take legal action against the Internet and prevent right-wing memers from using Pepe.
Olga Vishnevsky doesn’t care. For her, Pepe is above all a unique internet phenomenon and an incredible inspiration.
Olga’s approach is always the same: she uses Pepe’s versatility to paint famous pictures with his face.
The result is impressive. Whether classic or expressionistic: Olga Vishnevsky hits the right style. Some of her pictures can only be distinguished from the original at second glance.
Through her work, the artist blurs the line between art and meme culture. Where does the meme end, where does the art begin?
It thus makes an important contribution to the copyright and copyright debate. Are your pictures your own creations? Probably nobody would deny that. Are memes then too?
Often Olga Vishnevsky only changes little things in the famous paintings. Often only Pepe’s face is new. This goes down well with many!
You can also order your own Pepe paintings from the artist. For example, you could have a family photo “pepped up”.
How much Olga Vishnevsky has specialized in Pepe is shown by her stage name: She calls herself “Pepangelo”, a reference to the famous painter Michelangelo.
For Olga, Pepe is not a symbol of hatred. On the contrary. She sees it as “a symbol of peace, love and solidarity”.
In doing so, she does not allow herself to be classified as either on the right or on the left, but appears entirely as an artist. In the meantime she has created around 60 Pepe masterpieces.