Friday, July 13, 2007

Moscow: Canned!

Grab a can, young man. Graffiti artists convened at Luzhniki Stadium at the end of June for spray-off "Moscow 2057." The theme was “My Moscow;” crews had five hours or so to come up with a design that expressed how the felt about the city they’ll inherit in 50 years.

Bracketing the ominous have-fun-or-else influence and nationalism of the Department of Family and Youth Policy of the City of Moscow, it was good, innocent fun for the whole family. Also it validated something I realized when they started selling spray cans at indie bookstore Respublica: being “street” has grown in currency.

The event was co-sponsored x-treme sports store Nye-Olympiiskiye Igry and new street art magazine Iron Curtain. Expect big things from this publication: Their marketing campaign is aimed at the hordes of restless youth all over Russia with a penchant for petty vandalism. Better that hoods in St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Ufa and Samara are expending the energy creatively than, say, on beating half-Mexicans.

Visual Artifacts shows that, against all odds, there’s actually a growing set of funny and subversive stencil artists and taggers in Moscow.

Aw, cute. I spend most of the day walking around blinded by bloodlust, then she goes and does something like this and I think, we’re going to be OK, me and Moscow.


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