• Participants of "Satka Street Art Festival" Changed Satka’s Look & Feel

Satka Street Art Festival, the First International Festival of Street Art, came to an end in Satka (the Chelyabinsk Region). This event was supported by Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council and Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Moscow. The Festival showed the example of urban environment transformation, pushed development of creative potential of young people. Five graffiti works created by three duets of artists – Russian Aesthetics group, Swiss Nevercrew and Italian SOLO & DIAMOND – were solemnly presented to the public June 20.

Facades of very common residential houses in Satka’s Zapadny District ended up in the crosshairs of masters.Two bright abstract images made by the Russian team of artists Petr Gerasimenko (Petro) and Ilya Blinov (Slak) from Aesthetics Group united nature and industrial culture of Satka. Geometry of the compositions built a la classical masters of the Russian avant-garde delivers the idea of blending of two beginnings, the most harmonious moments of the interface of human activities focused on space urbanization, and the nature, with its unharnessed energy and vulnerability.

The goal pursued by the authors is the picturesque essence of the things they observed in Satka. The more interesting it is that in the images many people recognized echoes of the city’s sculptural milestone – hammer and sickle in the background of the five-pointed star.

Graffiti of the Italian artists, Flavio Corbonaro (Solo) and Stefano Biagiotti (Diamond) feature their own technique and style. Stefano Biagiotti created the female image surrounded by swans explaining that he was inspired to this artistic concept by wonderful Russian cartoons broadcasted on the Italian TV several years ago, which he liked very much. That is why he devoted his work to Wild Swans fairy-tale. Simona Kapodimonte, an Italian coordinator of the project, finds that the female character depicted in the painting refers to the queen of swans from the famous Swan Lake of Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

Wall painting of Flavio Corbonaro shows a spaceman. The painter created this image as a tribute to the important stage of the Russian history – history of space exploration. Another idea that contributed to his choice, as explained by the painter, was Satka having a special connection with the outer space.

"I usually paint super heroes or book / comics characters. But this time I chose an astronaut as the tribute to the important page in Russian history, – Flavio Corbonaro comments. – Words in the picture, Don’t change the planet, do change your world, are an insightful message. First of all, an environmental one. Russia is a surprising place, and what world it will be here depends on the people who live here.

Nevercrew, a duet of Swiss artists – Christian Rebecchi & Pablo Togni – created a 3D painting: a huge, lifelike bear leaned against the wall of nine-storeyed house. The work reflects the painters’ traditional approach to the theme of interconnection between the mankind and the nature, when the nature suffers from effects of human impact, while the human does not or prefers not to see what is going on. The image of brown bear is chosen on purpose:  its population in Russia is one of the largest in the world, it is not endangered, and the authors consider it to render close connection with nature. According to the artists’ concept, the red ribbon that covers the bear is appeal to understanding responsibility for environmental impact of people.

- In addition to the brown bear, the red colour takes a lot of space in the composition. It reminds the warning, signal of being aware of a possible hazard. The project follows our customary approach to the relations between mankind and nature, where nature, as a rule, suffers from consequences of the policy and habits of the mankind, – the project authors told.

Another painting related with the theme of man / nature interaction was created by the authors in the infrastructure site located close to waste dumps formed while extracting magnesite raw material.

For the time of the festival, Satka became not only an international creative art workshop, but also a shooting area. Students of Gerasimov’s All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography were shooting the documentary of the work of every of the three teams. The students’ supervisor is Sergey Valentinovich Miroshnichenko, Russian documentary film maker, Honoured Artist of Russia. Young film-makers will unite the three stories in a film, whose opening night is planned for the autumn.

Commenting on the festival outcome, Alexander Glazkov, head of the Satka Region, noted: “It’s not the first year that the festival providers – Sobranie Cultural Initiative Supporting & Preservation Fund, Magnezit Group and Local Government of the Satka Municipality – arrange the city events aimed to “reload” urban spaces, develop and improve them. Due to new projects, Satka turned into the site of successful experiments, new formats and ideas implemented not only by locals, but by professionals from Russia and other countries. 

For the reference:

Every master that took part in Satka’s street art festival has certain weight in this kind of art.

Flavio SOLO was born in Italy. His London cooperation with The Butchers video producers is well-known to the designers’ community – these installations were presented in Dissonanze, the international festival of electronic music, in 2010. In Get Numb festival Flavio SOLO created decorations out of the main scene during Two Many DJS show, etc.

Stefano DIAMOND is another Italian guest in Satka’s street art festival. His experience in the world of graffiti is being developed: Diamond came to street art by becoming one of the leaders of this historic city. Diamond’s work does not follow the cliché of classical street art. Methods he uses are unusual.

Nevercrew Artistic Duet (Switzerland): the duet founder is Pablo Tony, and his partner is Christian Rebekkee. Since 1996 they have been working together under NEVERCREW brand.

The painters have a lot of projects under their belts, including exposition of Swiss graffiti  Dalla strada in the Museum of Modern Art in Bellinzona (CH). The team was also painting in Pretoriali prisons in Bellinzona, had expositions between Milan and Komo (Italy) during their studies in the Academy of Fine Arts. In 2013, the duet was awarded with the Artist of the Year title. In 2014, NEVERCREW implemented works of art in new offices of Facebook in Milan and Dublin, and participated in many international projects and art festivals (Hamburg, Belgrade, Cairo, Winterthur). The team ranked among TOP 100 of the most influential artists of 2015 according to Graffiti Art Magazine.

The Russian team, Aesthetics group, was presented by Petr Gerasimenko (Petro) and Ilya Blinov (Slak). Petr Gerasimenko has been creating his wall paintings with spray paint since 2001. In 2003, he graduated art and motion picture lyceum No. 333. Currently, he lives and works in Zhukovsky town in the Moscow Region (Russia).

Ilya Blinov also has decent experience in street art — he’s been painting since 2003. In addition to higher technical education, Ilya has studied metrology, graphic design, graphic editors. Until now, he’s been living and working in Beloozersky town in the Moscow Region (Russia).

Photos from Nevercrew official website http://nevercrew.com/baring-machine, official photos of SOLO and DIAMOND. Photo by Sergey Poteryaev. 

Links to publications about Satka Street Art Festival: