These days, you can turn anything into a speaker. Handbags, lamps and cabinets are examples of objects that individuals are currently experimenting with in the audio hardware space. Pushing the envelope in the upbeat design trend is Petro Wodkins, a Russian artist and activist.
Instead of using everyday objects to fuel his creations, he applies statues of well-known, powerful leaders as a controversial base. Wodkins then makes a diagonal cut on the side of the head and installs a big speaker. The “Sound of Power” bust series (SOP) is a tribute to political leaders that have a reputation for being loud and expressive. So far, the artist released the following figures: Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-Un and Margaret Thatcher. A Donald Trump version would probably fit in very well with the boisterous bunch.
Are the statues offensive? Not really. The speakers come in plain white, which leaves plenty of room for customization and personal expression. You could paint the statue with your favorite colors, or even add a red clown nose for good measure. How you want to portray the leader in your home or office is entirely up to you.
Surprisingly, the speaker inside the piece is incredibly sturdy. “The bust is 14.6 inches tall by 9 inches wide and weighs 7.3 pounds, with the amplifier measuring 7.5 inches long and wide by 4.3 inches tall and weighing in at 1.8 pounds. The speaker is equipped with a full range 4” driver, as well as a New Curv cone designed to provide a smooth, extended frequency response,” wrote Stephanie Long from Digital Trends.
Holding the statue up is a sleek amplifier. It comes with gold-colored connectors, which protects the slots, as well as a 3.5mm AUX port for direct connections. Alternatively, you could beam your playlist in wirelessly via Bluetooth. The manual controls are located behind the piece, so you’ll need to leave some space behind it if you want easy access to the volume knob and ports. In front of the amplifier is a small, minimal label of the living room accessory.
Getting your hands on the unique speakers could be costly and difficult. There are only 100 units in circulation and the artist plans to keep it that way to preserve the quality of his work. Each one has a price tag of $1,235, and is signed by the activist. For proof of authenticity, the pieces are tagged with special numbers. The first and last speakers were auctioned off earlier this year, with the end of the event falling on Putin’s birthday.
Based on the mostly positive response the artist received from the SOP series, it’s likely that he’ll be back with another set of whimsical speakers. “I’d love to see more half-naked politicians on different animals. For Putin, this is part of his brand. It works very well in Russia. But in the West, having a president that’s not always in a suit, that’s weird,” said the designer during an interview. We’re ready for the half-naked politicians on different animals themed speakers when you are, Wodkins.