Street Revolution: St Petersburg’s Street Art Museum kicks off its fourth season

(Photo credit: Maria Michela D'Alessandro)

By Maria Michela D’Alessandro & Andreas Rossbach

St Petersburg’s Street Art Museum opened its fourth season, Bright Days Are Coming, featuring works by 50 artists inspired by the centenary of the Russian Revolution. Prospekt Magazine selected 3 must-see artists at the exhibition, housed at the exciting factory space on the eastern outskirts of the city

It might be an accident that the Street Art Museum in St Petersburg is located on Shosse Revolutsii (Revolution Highway), or maybe it is not. The unique space lies in the eastern part of the city, far from your typical touristic attractions, on the site of a functioning factory producing laminated plastic. The two worlds of the factory and the museum are far apart: the first is almost 70 years old, while the second was only registered as a cultural institution in 2012. After five years of activity—in which legions of international artists have graced its walls—the Street Art Museum has kicked off its fourth season, called Brighter Days Are Coming. The new art project comes in the midst of the centenary of the Russian Revolution and brings 50 artists from 10 different countries to St Petersburg with one inspiration: paint the revolution.

The list of participants includes Ricardo Cavolo from Spain, the Italian artists Sten & Lex, as well as famous Russian artists, who came to St Petersburg during the past year to paint the new murals. The open-air area of the museum has also been renovated and houses a mix of vivid styles and artistic influences.

The revolutionary project also gives space to new installations, both in the gallery and in the boiler-house. One is called The Tragic Revolution, crafted by the Iranian artists Icy and Sot, which comes in the form of a bathtub with water, soap, and background music. Another is called the Snow Leopard of Bordalo II and consists of an old military car painted with different techniques.

The 2017 season includes a collaboration with the Goethe-Institut of St Petersburg and is co-curated by Andrey Zaitsev, the director of the Street Art Museum, and Yasha Young, the leader of Berlin’s Urban Nation initiative. The latter, a creative force from the German capital, promotes public engagement and urban art exchanges as a key art form in the 21st century. The aspiring contemporary artists invited by the German curator display their artwork in the urban fabric—on the façades of buildings and the walls of houses.

Millo (Italy)
Rivoluzione, 2017. Exterior paint

The Italian street artist, also known as Francesco Camillo Giorgino, is well known in cities like Florence, Rome, and Turin. Millo is currently exploring Eastern Europe; he spent some time in Belarus painting in the streets of Minsk. The talented artist created yet another mural in St Petersburg with Rivoluzione, showing one of his oversized giant bald characters interacting in a city that is way too small for him. His work reveals a consistently simple, monochromatic style matched with bits of colour and whimsical characterizations. His works can also be seen in Paris, London, Vilnius, and Rio de Janeiro.

Dima Rebus (Russia)
Life Goes On, 2017. Aerosol

The Russia-born, New York-based artist Dima Rebus created a mural of barrels with dozens of faces. The watercolorist uses a special technique called underground aquarelka. He creates gritty, simplistic, and sometimes ironic watercolour illustrations. He is known for his strategic combination of empty space, abrasive lines and colours, and undefined aspects in his subjects that leave your imagination free to fill in the blanks. Other works by the Russian artist can be seen here.

Sepe (Poland)
Festival Comes to You, 2017. Exterior paint

Michał Wręga aka SEPE is a Polish street artist, born in Warsaw. He is known for painting with a very limited colour palette. Through the years he painted many walls in various countries such as Germany, France, Russia, and Indonesia. His work ‘the Festival Comes to You’, is simple, but stands out from its surroundings. It consists of a crowd of bland people carrying flags and banners under the strict observation of a naked giant doll with a gun. In his works, ranging from murals to canvas and mixed media, SEPE combines geometry with distorted characters, fed with false dreams and engaged in endless journeys to nowhere. Another recent work by the well-known artist in Warsaw is called the ‘Education System’.

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