New East Digital Archive

Art activist Leonid Nikolaev dies

Art activist Leonid Nikolaev dies

24 September 2015

Nikolaev in his limousine stunt (2010)

Art activist Leonid Nikolaev, member of the provocative Russian street-art group Voina (War), has died.

Nikolaev died in the intensive care unit in Domodedovo, close to Moscow, the leader of the group Oleg Vorotnikov revealed. He fell when pruning trees at work on 22 September, and died after having fallen into a coma.

Also known as Crazy Lenya, Nikolaev became widely known after he staged a demonstration outside the Kremlin in which he climbed on top of a Federal Security Service limousine as it was waiting at traffic lights, while wearing a blue bucket on his head.

“A rare, brave man. Solid, hard-nosed, reliable,” Vorotnikov said of Nikolaev.

Voina’s demonstrations have ranged from street protests, pranks, and performances, to vandalism and destruction of public property. More than a dozen criminal cases have been brought against the group.

Source: Snob (in Russian)