Graffiti Turns Streets Into Galleries

“Over the past decade, Muscovites’ perceptions of graffiti have changed: Graffiti artists are no longer viewed as just vandals or hooligans,” Ivan Panteleyev, the main organizer of MOST, told The Moscow Times. “Demand for graffiti-style work has been coming from architects, interior designers, stores, restaurants and even city authorities.”

For most of Russia’s recent past, graffiti was illegal. Moscow-based street art curator Oxana Bondarenko told The New York Times in 2010 that “The state invests millions of rubles in hunting down graffiti artists and painting over the works,” resulting in arrests and a warning if an artist was caught. In recent years, street art has become more accepted in major metropolises like New York and London, which have seen a boom in street paintings, and Moscow is no exception.

Besides Ron, Mue Bon from Thailand and Farid Rueda from Mexico have taken part in this year´s mural fest dedicated to the football championship.

Asked about his recent work, Ron explained: ”No one has ever painted a mural of a player bringing the ball back into play… The concept is of Russia returning to the World Cup.”