"Punk Prayer" at WhiteBox Gallery (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“Punk Prayer” at WhiteBox  (Photo: Nicole Disser)

It was nothing short of surreal seeing Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot — blonde curls, deadpan blue eyes and all — milling about by the wine table at WhiteBox this past Sunday. Alyokhina was not the only artist participating. In fact, there was a large group of artists, a number of them also Russian, participating in the group show, Recycling Religion, at the Lower East Side non-profit gallery. But she was certainly the most eye-popping of the lot.

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