• Festival of Monumental Painting

The second International Street Art Festival “Satka Street Art Fest” was started in Satka. By the end of the summer, street art artists from Russia, Germany, Australia, South Africa will paint facades of five town buildings.

The first to start work was Moscow artist Alexey Luchko also known as Luka. As a some 500 sq m canvas, he chose facade of former BelAZ garage which, due to Magnezit Group and the Sobranie Fund, became a platform for cultural, educational, festive and entertainment projects. So, last year they held here an event unprecedented by scale and courage of the authors – the concert “Avant-garde Counterpoint” which became the synthesis of music, dance, poetry and graphic arts.

- My graphics are quite strict and laconic.  And, in my opinion, this is just the place where it will fit well into the surrounding context. It is very important for me as an architect. In addition, I like industrial landscapes, – the artist justifies his choice. It is not the first time that he takes part in such festivals. In recent years, he participated in significant international projects such as the Street Art Festival “The Best City of Earth” in Moscow (2013), project Le MUR XIII in Paris (2014), the street art biennale “Artmosfera” in Moscow, 6th Street Art Biennale in Marrakech. – For me, BelAZ garage location was love at first sight. And the idea came up easily, without any throes of art. I made some drafts, one sketch, and we decided to implement it.

- And what would you like to bring to Satka residents with your work? – I asked Alexey.

- Of course, each work has certain meaning. But I am not sure I must and want to bring something. Yes, the graphics is abstract, but it is not intended to be recognizable in some parts. You can distinguish silhouettes of people, characters.

I give opportunity to individually grasp and guess the mosaic, to find there something for yourself. For me, the main thing is that, in the end, the work is perceived as something natural. As if it should be so.

Alexey tries to do everything not only quickly, but also good. Still, he cannot say when exactly he will finish the works.

- At the end of working day, I always look from a distance to assess the scale and the proportions of the graphics. You cannot do it when you’re on the platform, – he says. I always find places that I dislike. I have to redo them. Plus, there are a lot of details which take a lot of time. In general, all goes as planned. Weather is the greatest challenge. I just cannot get used that it changes every half an hour: now it rains, then it’s windy, and then its’ terribly hot.

In addition to monumental painting, Alexei paints on canvas, creates collages, 3D compositions of wood and other materials.

- Street art is nothing other than putting your nickname, name on the wall.  It is right what I started with as street art artist. But it was long ago, – he smiles. – Now creation of street art for me is a kind of inspiration. I monitor what other masters do. I also looked at the works made by my colleagues during the last year’s festival held in your town. I really like street art of Petro and Slak (in the Zapadny Microdistrict of Satka – ed. note). They are located in an open space and attract attention.  In laconic, unobtrusive way.

- But Petro and Slak worked as a duet, and you are alone, – I note.

- Yes, I support the opinion that if you want to do something you have to learn to do it yourself. So, when I make sculpture from wood, I learn to work with wood a little, and if I make metal structures, I learn to weld. I am very happy to be invited to participate in the festival. I cannot travel around Russia too often and always interested in visiting new cities. So far I had no time to learn Satka well. I visited only the Magnezit museum and the sculptural composition Sickle and Hammer. I like this kind of sights. I really like private houses. I love old wooden architecture. It’s a long time since I’ve seen that virtually every house has wooden gate in such a good repair.

The Art-Satka festival will continue. Already this week, artists Danila Shmelev (Russia) and Hendrik Beikirch (Germany) started their work. The first one is to transform the main post office building. The second one will start working on facade of house No. 23 on Metallurgov Street. 

Source: Magnezite News

Ksenia Maximova, photo by Vasily Maksimov.