All i know about street art
Everything I Know about Street Art



This text brings together all the discoveries I’ve made over the past three years.



As I absorbed and assimilated them, they turned into a code: a set of rules by which I live. These kinds of rules are rarely put into words, so discussing them is pretty challenging.



Sometimes i feel that a single sentence would do just as well.



The Person



There are two sides to human life. Everything I know about it concerns the internal side.



It is the artist who answers for this.

 Internal life stems from a person’s strongest and most fragile part: the soul. There are those who say you cannot call the soul part of a person, arguing that the soul is, in fact, the person.



By deliberating and taking decisions, we manifest and externalize our internal life.

These external projections collide, unite, and intermix, becoming the world we live in.



The Person and the City



Our whole inner world is linked to the city; this connection is perpetuated through all of our senses. We move through the city and sleep in it.
We live in it and we die in it.

The city’s relationship towards the person resembles that of a body: you’re always inside it. And you’re always aware of it.



From top to bottom, the city is built by human hands. It’s man-made. Even though it seems like it has always been there, this is not the case.

The city is the footprint we leave behind. It’s a faithful imprint of our times and ideas.



The wall of a building and the wall of a room are one and the same, one indivisible whole. A beautiful building is beautiful inside and out, just as a person is beautiful inside and out. The relationship between the inner and the outer worlds is the key element of street art.



The state of everyday life and the state of the city make up one unbroken surface. Some cities shine, and some fade away.
How do people live in cities? How do cities live in people?



In an unfamiliar town or country, you notice a lot more. Everything is new and engaging. Our own buildings and streets can be made just as interesting.


The transformation of a simple familiar object brings out the most powerful emotions. I journey around my own home.



Every person and every city has a distinctive tone. It’s a special kind of silence which can only be heard in the rare instances when the inner and outer silences become one.


The majority of the people in the city may sound different from the city they happen to be in.



A city might be a home, or it might not be. What makes a city a home? Is there enough room in it for everyone?



The sense of home is linked to the notion of a ‘fortress’. It’s a quality that a person can possess, and so can a city.



Conversely, the emptiness that surrounds a person can make its way in. This emptiness inside is not pure consciousness. It’s filth. This is emptiness in the European sense of the word, not the Eastern one.

Russian cities are empty with this emptiness. It’s just how things are, but it hasn’t always been like that.



At the end of the 20th century, something broke in the Russian fortress. We still come across these ruins, but the external damage is plain to see and easier to work with.

It’s much harder to pick up the pieces inside a person. How do you put them back together? How long does it take?



These two ruinations – of the city and the person – are two inseparable, but very different processes: the first rumbles; the second is silent, like poison.



What Street Art Is



One problem with the definition of street art is that the definition itself cannot exist.



But it’s safe to say these things:



1. Street art is created by a street artist.

2. Street art can exist only outside, on the street.



The four dualistic facets of street art are idea/place, internal/external, temporal/eternal, and private/public

.

Let’s visualize these four aspects as four windows, each overlooking a different side. You could say a lot about it, but it’s best to just look out of each window.



Idea/place is a complex interaction, with a lot of nuances. This can be a strong relationship, the very foundation. Why does this work belong in this particular place?
What embodiment of this idea does the place call for? If the place has stronger energy, do I have the right to exploit it?



The relationship between the internal and the external is the essence of street art.



The strongest aspect of street art is its temporary nature. This frailty makes it alive, and therefore akin to humans.


Something emerges, changes, and perishes before your eyes. You regard each other as equals without the ephemeral power and authority imposed by attempts to capture eternity
(genuine authority lies in ancient things).



The relationship of private to public is more complex and subtler than that of private to other. Public should not become other, whereas private can become public.



All in all, there are only so many really important things in the world. The challenge is to bear them in mind at all times.

There are several languages ​​that can remind people of these things. Street art is one of them.



You could also definitely say that street art has a special sound and vibration which words cannot convey.



How Street Art Works



What you do out in the street is visible to everyone – those you’ll never have the chance to talk to and those who will never have the chance to talk to you.

Even those you’ll never meet.

But one day, you do meet one of them, and they tell you they’ve seen it. It’s an amazing feeling.



This is a bond between parts that it seems should not be linked. This bond should not exist.


Through this phenomenon, the street acquires aspects that are not normally there, and gives rise to feelings that are hard to find. Words we forget to say.



Why are some things deemed legal while others are not?

When you look at it on the material plane, this question is simple and easily manageable.



But the immaterial plane is much more problematic: where is culture’s place?

Culture’s place is within the person.



That’s why work created at an unsanctioned site has a special power.

Powerful work has to be done where it is forbidden, in a place unrelated to culture.

The explosive effect that results is street art.



The resulting tension is street art.

It resonates. It hangs palpably in the air. It has an effect. If a police patrol comes across it, they won’t detain you.

One time, an officer surveying the work I’d just finished was trying to convince me (and, most importantly, himself) that it was nothing special. "I don’t see any damage to property here."



This tension equals the exertion of energy required to create art in the street. It’s enormous and always strictly commensurate with the effort you have invested in it.

You do have what it takes; you just have to give it your all.



How does street art work?



For me, the idea is the primary element, but it has to grow into a place like a tree in the soil.

There are two distinct kinds of ideas.



There are the ideas that burrow inwards, which could be called ‘mirrors’. They explore inner life.

Then there are the ideas that reach outwards: these are political ideas, in the broad sense of the word. They address the themes of justice and balance, and look at how we ponder our options and take decisions:

 the ways in which the internal becomes external.



Like two hands, they can operate separately as well as together.



Both kinds of ideas should be implemented with depth and clarity.



Depth and clarity are difficult criteria, as they apply not only to a specific idea, but to the entire artistic language employed and cultivated by the artist.



Sincerity is a very powerful tool which necessitates a special kind of responsibility and code of conduct. You cannot be selectively sincere. If you’re only occasionally sincere, you are in the wrong profession.


There is something irrevocable in sincerity: once it is kindled, its flame can’t go out; it doesn't come and go at will.



Once an idea is born, you can’t retract it.

You can’t renounce your own ideas. You can’t renounce your own ideas.




How to Make Street Art



You just need to start. Once you do, you won’t be able to stop.

To know is to do. To do is not to fear.



Fear is an inevitable element of working on the street and it’s perfectly normal for a mentally healthy person.

Those who have never overcome this fear in themselves may see it as an act of bravery, and it is.



What matters is to keep creating. "Bomb the walls – fuck the system."



Anything and everything can be street art. Any genre. It’s about the quality of the project, not its formalistic aspects.

All other questions (‘What does it mean?’) arise when not enough has been done.



When I thought of some nondescript bureaucrat deciding whether to let me carry on or not, I almost fell off my bike. It’s such a repulsive notion.



How do you decide on a project?

-

 First I try to determine whether I really want to do it. Is it necessary?

- Does this story really resonate with me? Am I capable of relating it? Is it honest? Maybe this isn’t my thing?
- 
Does the end justify the means? Is there another, more effective way of expressing this idea?
- 
Then we start working.



Every time, the outcome leaves something to be desired. This is because painting a 50 х 7-metre inscription on a slippery roof, with three people working over three nights, is pretty tricky. But we strive to improve.



Every time, there comes a moment when I think, “That’s it, we’ve failed. Maybe next time.”

Yet every time, we keep going and succeed.



You have to keep doing what you’ve never done before. This applies to everything: technique, genre, and ideas.

Like skydiving. Like when it’s easier not to say anything, but you still speak up.



They say that you can only consider the work your own the night when it is finished. As day breaks, it becomes public.



The street is littered with rubbish in every sense and dimension. For your work to stand out, it has to be large. Here’s a hint: something that appears large inside a room becomes small on the street. A big country needs big ideas.



The main advantage of an enclosed space is the ability to be meticulous. I want to do that in my street creations.

‘Bombing’ is the opposite strategy. I want to do that in my street creations, too.



Writing on the wall is the best approach. No sooner said than done. At the same time, it is a very intimate thing: a person’s sentiment is not just uttered and recorded, but becomes public.

I love inscriptions on walls. The first thing I ever wrote on a wall was for a girl I loved.



Humor is a complex and effective tool. Like irony, it requires finesse

.

Provocation is the most complex genre. If it is executed well, people discuss the meaning of the act, and not the audacity of the artist.

Grapefruit peel works well for removing enamel from skin.



A fire escape can give out under you at any moment.



Universal keys for intercoms get you into any building.



A crane, aerial lift, or tip truck cost the same as a pair of boots.



If anyone asks, tell them you’re making a film. Film shoots are expected to stand out, so no one will bother you.



Bring double the amount of materials you need, then you will have just enough.

Four drill bits, two drills, two passports.



You need a Plan B in case the glue doesn't work, the ladder doesn’t reach, and so on. You also need a Plan C, D, and E.



Do it yourself. Everyone likes a finished project, but as soon as collaboration is involved, there are more questions, tedium, and problems.



Read inscriptions by Kirill Kto.



Keep your eyes peeled!