Russian socialite Dasha Zhukova has sparked ire by posing atop a chair shaped like a half-naked black woman.
The image of Zhukova was published by online magazine Buro 247 on Martin Luther King Day, an American holiday commemorating the slain civil rights leader.
It is accompanied by the 32-year-old's giggly musings on the Russian art scene including gems such as: “I love fashion. But I hate shopping!”
The questionable shoot was flagged up by Fashion Bomb Daily, which writes: “As Dasha stares out at the camera in the light-filled room, she appears the total opposite of the compromised black woman on the floor.
Amid accusations of racism and heavy criticism from other media outlets, the magazine has cropped the image so the chair is no longer visible.
Even in the grim, tasteless world of fashion photography, this revolting racist image- pub’d on MLK Day!- stands out: http://t.co/CkSiqVfQZM— Alex von Tunzelmann (@alexvtunzelmann) January 20, 2014
Organizing For Women's Liberation tweeted that it was "incredibly racist", while Cosmopolitan's Alex Rees wrote: "It's an uncomfortable chair in both that it looks awkward to sit on and because you should feel incredibly uncomfortable, ethically, sitting on it."
On Tuesday, Zhukova issued an apology via the Moscow Times.
In a statement she said: "This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an art work intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics.
Happy MLK Day everyone! Here's a white lady sitting on a chair that looks like a half-naked black woman! http://t.co/tfha0fbPOq— shedoshi (@pikoeri) January 21, 2014
On the same day, Buro 247 published this apology to its Facebook page: "Buro 247 is against racism and everything that may humiliate people. The chair presented on a photo should be seen like nothing but a piece of contemporary art.
HuffPost UK has contacted Buro 247 editor Anna Malygina for comment.
The chair itself appears to have been inspired by similar works by British pop artist Allen Jones, which stirred controversy in the 1970s.
Jones told The Evening Standard: "It's obviously a copy of my sculpture and I suppose I should be flattered. I never meant the chair to be sat on.
"It's the first time I've seen someone using it as actual furniture and I think it would be rather uncomfortable."
This chair in question is believed to be the work of Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, who has also created a "white" version of it.
How Long? Not Long!
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FILE -In this March 28, 1968 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rev. Ralph Abernathy, right, lead a march on behalf of striking Memphis, Tenn., sanitation workers. Forty-five years after Martin Luther King Jr. was killed supporting a historic sanitation workers strike in Memphis, the citys garbage and trash collectors are fighting to hold on to jobs that some city leaders want to hand over to a private company. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Sam Melhorn, File)
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Martin Luther King Jr.
FILE - In this Aug. 28, 1963 file photo, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, speaks to thousands during his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in Washington. Actor-singer Sammy Davis Jr., is at bottom right. It has been cited as one of America's essential ideals, its language suggestive of a constitutional amendment on equality: People should "not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Yet 50 years after the King's monumental statement, there is considerable disagreement over what this quote means when it comes to affirmative action and other measures aimed at helping the disadvantaged. (AP Photo/File)
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FILE - The late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is shown in this Oct. 24, 1966 file photo. The Martin Luther King Jr. birthday holiday is celebrated this year on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, although the the actual anniversary of his birthday is Jan. 15. The Georgia native, who was born in Atlanta, would have been 83 years old. On Monday, a wreath will be laid at the new King Memorial on the National Mall, in Washington, which opened in August. Since then, the King Memorial Foundation says more than 2 million visitors from around the world have visited the memorial. (AP Photo, File)
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FILE - In this April 3, 1968 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes his last public appearance at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tenn. The following day King was assassinated on his motel balcony. The Martin Luther King Jr. birthday holiday is celebrated this year on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, although the the actual anniversary of his birthday is Jan. 15. The Georgia native, who was born in Atlanta, would have been 83 years old. On Monday, a wreath will be laid at the new King Memorial on the National Mall, in Washington, which opened in August. Since then, the King Memorial Foundation says more than 2 million visitors from around the world have visited the memorial. (AP Photo/Charles Kelly, File)
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FILE - In this Aug. 28, 1963 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The Martin Luther King Jr. birthday holiday is celebrated this year on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, although the the actual anniversary of his birthday is Jan. 15. The Georgia native, who was born in Atlanta, would have been 83 years old. On Monday, a wreath will be laid at the new King Memorial on the National Mall, in Washington, which opened in August. Since then, the King Memorial Foundation says more than 2 million visitors from around the world have visited the memorial. (AP Photo, File)
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