Protest, children and the homeless: What you need to know about the work of Pasha 183

From November 17 to February 28, an exhibition of Moscow street artist Pavel Pukhov, working under the pseudonym Pasha 183., will take place at the Museum of Street Art in St. Petersburg. It will occupy all three floors of the boiler building and will be built in retrospective format: the exhibition will tell about all the most significant projects of the artist for unfortunately, his whole life is very short (in 2013, at the age of 29, Pasha 183 died suddenly, there is no reliable information about the causes of death).

In Russia, personal, and even more so retrospective exhibitions of street artists are still a rarity, even the specialized Street Art Museum holds something similar for the first time. But the exhibition is interesting, of course, not only this. Pasha 183 is, in a sense, a symbol of Russian street art. A year before his death, he became widely known abroad, thanks to a number of publications in Western publications (including The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph). This unexpected recognition attracted more attention from the Russian cultural institutions, however, he did not manage to realize major gallery or museum projects during his life, but he seems to not really want to, remaining true to the ideals of street art and maintaining complete anonymity.

In all video documents and rare interviews, the artist appeared exclusively in a mask. This seems to be the main reason why foreign publications, and later the Russian media, began to call him "Russian Banksy." This nickname provoked a negative reaction in the community of street artists, some even saw this as Banksy’s attempt to create some kind of international movement for his followers, others turned the story into a joke, suggesting henceforth to call Banksy "English Pasha." The Briton himself devoted Pasha 183 his work "P183 R.I.P."

One of the few works done by Pasha 183 in a place specially designed for this purpose, the installation “Walls Don't Sleep,” is located right in the Museum of Street Art. Most of his projects survived only in the form of documentation. It was photo and video archives that became the basis of the current exhibition. In addition to them, the museum will show preserved author’s canvases, stencils, personal items, as well as reconstructed graffiti, art objects and installations.

Life around has selected several demonstrational works that can be seen at the exhibition, and on their basis tells about the creative search for Pasha 183.


Sasha Iordanov

"Pasha 183. Retrospective"

When: November 17 - February 28

Where: Museum of Street Art (84 Revolution Highway)

Cost: 400 rubles


Rock music

Portrait of Victor Tsoi, 2003

Like most street artists, Pasha 183 began as a graffiti writer. At 13, walking past the Tsoi Wall on Old Arbat, scribbled with messages from Kino fans, he was so inspired that he began to paint house walls in his neighborhood with quotes from his favorite songs. Later, full-fledged portraits of favorite musicians, which Pasha 183 made from photographs, were added to text graffiti: they were mainly heroes of the rock scene - Viktor Tsoi, Konstantin Kinchev, Garik Sukachev, Mikhail Gorshenev, Yuri Shevchuk and others. Pasha 183 continued to make such portraits throughout his life, but over time, not only on the walls of houses, but also on ordinary canvases.

"Time Machine", 2012

Interestingly, he later used quotes from songs for his conceptual projects. For example, verses from Andrei Makarevich’s song “Pauses” were the key to the 2012 installation “Time Machine”: then the artist installed an old Soviet cabinet in the center of Yekaterinburg, in which he placed the figure of a child playing as if in a stream of time.

Criticism of consumerism

"Alenka" (God Save the Queen), 2006

In 2014, the Street Art Museum moved to St. Petersburg from an abandoned construction site in the Moscow suburbs "Alenka" - one of the artist’s most cited works - a giant concrete slab weighing 4.5 tons, on which Pasha 183 repeated a picture from a wrapper of a popular chocolate brand. The artist painted "Alenka" many times (at the exhibition, for example, there will be several replicas at once). In a sense, the image of a blue-eyed girl with a chocolate wrapper became the same recognizable element of his work as Banksy's Girl with a Balloon, a symbol of childish naivety that opposes consumerism and consumerism. “Every person from childhood is forced to learn to sell himself, so life in the modern world is built. Each of us, like“ Alenka, ”is sold against our will. But still, Alenka, in my understanding, is the brightest man on earth, always naive and always disinterested ", - so Pasha 183 described the essence of the project.

Industry, 2009

Another program work - Industry, a large-scale mural created in the framework of the Wall project at the Vinzavod in Moscow - speaks of the same moral contradictions of modern society, but already on the forehead: a graffiti artist in pads with balaclava in his hands with dollars should was to symbolize the artist’s personal fears associated with the need to make a choice between material success and personal desires: "I believe that a person is real only when he can give up something more in favor of something less, but more important and necessary go. "


Installation "Loaf", modern reconstruction

“Probably, protest art is nevertheless closer to me, because I, in principle, was brought up on a resistance ideology. I’m rather an anarchist - I don’t recognize any power,” Pasha 183 described his political views. In his works, he almost did not turn to some short-term informational occasions and generally eschewed the news, as if he had been dodged by TV from Carlson in his work “Freedom,” but he often managed to skillfully reflect the spirit of the times. Indicative in this sense is the work "Truth for Truth", implemented in 2011 in Moscow (at the exhibition you can see its video documentation). Formally, it was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the putsch of 1991, but the glued-on images of riot police on the doors of the Krasniye Vorota metro station, through which the Muscovites freely passed through the system for several hours, literally anticipated the events of the mass peaceful protests of the end of 2011.

"Truth for Truth", 2011

Many of the "protest works" of Pasha 183 can even be considered in the context of self-identification. The artist’s accompanying project “Loaf” - a police car cut in chunks (this installation was reconstructed specifically for the exhibition) - says: “The police car - because the ambulance is a pity, but this one isn’t.” Another example: the large-scale graffiti "Dedicated to the Bridge Archers", which is easily mistaken for a shaped anarchist statement, in reality speaks more about leaving the comfort zone: "It is unlikely that any of us, having achieved success, connections, money, glory, is able to refuse from all this. Burn the bridges and destroy all your achievements for the sake of a new, unknown, perhaps reckless and illogical life or death. This installation is dedicated to those who went beyond their own dusty corners and created a new world. "

Children and angels

"Angel", modern reconstruction

Mural "Angel" - an image of a sleeping homeless person with a sign "Pass on a ticket home" and wings making their way over a battered coat. Street tramps - dirty, miserable, insignificant - Pasha 183 literally idealized and likened the saints: “Nowadays there are a lot of homeless people who sometimes look absolutely terrible, but at the same time they are deprived of those harmful irritants that mutilate people. These are people who and live according to the laws of outer space, as blessed. "

A similar image is children who constantly appear in the artist’s graffiti and installations. Starting with the already mentioned “Alenka” and ending with a conditional series with iron fences: for example, in the work “New Year's”, a girl in a festive dress hangs Christmas toys on barbed wire, and in the installation “Children's World”, the boy cuts the wire mesh with wire cutters and decorates it with paper windmills mills.

Underground Moscow

"Way Out Found", 2013

An unusual technique - light art - was born from Pasha 183's digger walks in Moscow dungeons. In a city collector in the Mitino district, he noticed how his lantern projects onto the wall drops of water that have collected on the glass. So the idea was born of creating a portable projector, with which the artist created light graffiti in underground mines: so in the abandoned bomb shelters and collectors appeared luminous images of a ghost train, Red Square, Stalin, giant watches, beauties from the covers of old magazines. Later, in a modified form, the projector migrated to the familiar urban space. One of the most successful was a series about Africa: the shadow of an elephant on a firewall in a Moscow courtyard or the smiling faces of African women on the facade of another house were akin to the experimental films of surrealists. Remarkable in its simplicity was the installation, inspired by "Alice in Wonderland." In the arch of a residential building, the artist installed a projector with a motion sensor: when someone entered the gateway, he worked, and an image of a smiling Cheshire Cat appeared on the wall.


Points, installation layout

The city landscape itself has repeatedly become the hero of Pasha’s work 183. Compositions for which often no special materials were required at all are both the most short-lived and, perhaps, the most emotionally delicate works of the artist. Deprived of obvious semantic load, but turned directly to the images and fantasies of childhood, they partly resemble the works of Eric Bulatov, created outside of Sots-Art themes. The word "autumn", laid out by fallen leaves under the window, or a lamppost, turned into a scent of glasses with a simple pattern in the snow, - despite all its primitiveness, it was these projects that first surfaced at the mention of the name of Pavel Pukhov. It is impossible to reconstruct them, to exhibit photographs is pointless: this is the rare case when retelling is quite enough for art. Ideally - a retelling from the lips of a yard old woman: "Our Pasha, that he again found out! There is nothing to do ..."

The installation "Glasses", however, will be shown in the museum: a tiny model with a street lamp the size of a ballpoint pen was specially made for the exhibition by a puppeteer.

Watch the video: World War I. Wikipedia audio article (December 2019).

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