Upgrade – improvement, modernization, updating.
The first stage of the series of works “Upgrade” was made in 2016-2017 in Moscow and Yekaterinburg. In this series I do not draw my own drawings from scratch on clean walls (there are a lot of them in Moscow, but they are kept clean by the army of janitors-painters), but make changes, add some details and additions to other people’s works. These other people’s works are usually quite low quality orders, either commercial or municipal. The guys who do this do not consider these drawings their works, the authorship does not mean and do not recognize. The author of these drawings is not the one who held the can in his hand and carried the sketch on the wall, and the one who paid the money and ordered it “creativity”. His feelings I, frankly, don’t particularly care.
Why am I working with such strange material? Several reasons.
First, because I like to give these vulgar, ugly and tasteless drawings some new meaning, to give another chance to acquire artistic value. I try to make them more truthful and, for all their horror, which is not going anywhere, at least funny.
Secondly, this way I get a platform for my creativity. After 8 years of living in Yekaterinburg, I’m used to no one to coordinate their work and do everything in free mode, when there is only you and the street, and there are no officials/curators/intermediaries/filters. Thanks to these additions I manage even in such censored city as Moscow to win back the place under the sun, resorting for this purpose to a method of “introduction of the agent”. So far, only one of my additions has been identified and destroyed, all the others live and please the citizens.
Third, it is a kind of symbolic gesture with a touch of youthful maximalism. An attempt to regain control of the street, which was intercepted by officials, “art managers” and their puppets-designers. They think that the street belongs to them, once they pay for these “art” money. But if someone is trying to play street art, then he should be ready to play by the rules of street art, and be prepared for the fact that their work will destroy, spoil, or what I do, complement and change its meaning. Anything is possible on the street, that’s why we love her.
Their add-ons usually I’m documenting with photos-collages “before/after”, but sometimes limited only to photographic images already made the change. On the one hand, it is bad that there is still a lot of “painted trash” in our streets. On the other hand, the field for work is huge. So we work.
“Radiation”, Preobrazhensky district.
“The Pravda (truth) doesn’t live here anymore.” District of printing house “Pravda”
“Sebastian in shock”, district Kutuzovsky prospect
Ads on the trees, metro Sokolniki
“A new Pussy Riot action is coming.” Preobrazhensky district.
“Auto boor”, metro Electrozavodskaya.
“Thank you Yuri, the space is ours!”. The area of metro station “Bulvar Rokossovskogo”.
“Grisha Mustang back again in Moscow”, the area of Bolshaya Cherkizovskaya street
“Zhlobiane” (Rednecks). Metro Preobrazhenskaya ploshad’
“Please somebody kill me”. Metro Prospekt Mira
“Hustle on the hood”, Chistie Prudi district
“Kommunist Fried Chicken”. Metro Autozavodskaya
“Pipe for a clean city.” Metro Kakhovskaya
Several additions were made to the paintings on the theme of WWII
“Carrot and stick”. The area of metro station Street of 1905.
“Toy tanks.” Tagansky district
In Yekaterinburg, this series was made a little differently – I made changes to my own old drawings.