"When Lee asked me if I wanted to be part of an exhibition, here, in London, I said O.K. So a few weeks ago I was asked to be part of this exhibition. And I was asked if I could tell something about war. "About war?" I said, and they wanted me to tell a story, a story about war. But I wasn't thinking about war at all. You know, I don't understand this question about war. They say it is going to be war in Europe. Like real soon, but I don't think we have to be scared. And then I thought okay, I'll make a story about war, you know. There's people being shot here, and Russia is in Ukraine now. But look, Putin isn't scared, he goes to see art, while we make pictures of him. That's what I can appreciate about Putin."

'Putin goes to see the Black Square' originally published in the catalogue of 'Is it war already?', Untitled Pop-up: Is it war already? (2015). Copyright © Melle Nieling/Lee Botham.

Putin goes to see the Black SquarePutin goes to see the Black Square

One of four works