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WorldAsiaArt critic Ushakova explained how graffiti changed Saint Petersburg

Art critic Ushakova explained how graffiti changed Saint Petersburg

What does the St. Petersburg front hide in its courtyards and hidden passages? Residents and guests of the northern capital are invited to visit an unusual tour – the world of graffiti. These are simple inscriptions – and quite large paintings! It’s just that such a mural does not live long.

Utilities constantly paint over it, so guides have to adjust routes. Roman Zakurdaev also passed one of them.

The tourist guide is like a decryptor. Explains the meaning of intricate drawings, which few people usually pay attention to. See, suddenly, Johann Bach where he never lived, cross footbridges which do not appear in any guide.

Such excursions to street art objects – street art differ in their routes. They do not repeat themselves. It is a living phenomenon. Some graffiti is painted the day after the appearance, while others remain sights of the city for a long time.

You are invited to watch what unofficial Petersburg hides in its wells, on firewalls and empty walls absolutely free. This is part of the city’s cultural and educational project.

“We conduct such artistic mediation, when people enter into dialogue with this phenomenon and learn more about it. They’re not just pointing fingers and saying it’s vandalism, but actually investigating it,” said Kirill Reinholds, the street art project manager.

There are two poets on a Liteiny Prospekt square in the very center of Saint Petersburg. The monument to Nikolai Nekrasov and here on the transformer housing is the image of Igor Talkov. Not classic graffiti, of course, but also street art. Memorial. Deserves no less attention and study than the “stains” that public services leave on the walls, methodically painting on illegal art, from their point of view.

“The fact that we see these spots in the urban environment or also call them a ‘buff’ is the result of an attempt to build a kind of dialogue consciously or unconsciously”, Maria Ushakova, tourist guide, researcher and theorist street art.

Such excursions, as conceived by the authors, are not just a short educational program on street art. Rather an attempt to see and understand it.

“It is important for me to show that we can determine where we have vandalism and where an artwork is. These excursions are an opportunity to think a little,” says Stas Bags, the artist.

According to Alexandra, a participant in the tour, walking through the places of street art allows you to take a fresh look at the cultural capital.

“It’s not very interesting to walk through ordinary streets. They are beautiful, of course, there are historical memories, but you still want to see the city as ordinary residents see it. Not like tourists, but to see through the eyes of an ordinary resident. It shows the spirit of the city much better than the classic places,” said Alexandra, a participant in the tour.

“Pskov remembers. Samara likes it. Tsoi is alive!” This strange place “Kamchatka”, where the idol of millions, Viktor Tsoi, worked as a driver for three days, will soon be dressed in scaffolding – the repair of the facade is about to begin in the courtyard of the mythical boiler room. There are still tours here. The fate of folk graffiti, the collection of which has grown over the past thirty years, is no longer entirely clear. Although a street art on such a large scale could not be hidden even under a new layer of plaster.

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