September 20, 2019
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Graffiti festival lights up giant facades in Moscow

By Fernando Salcines

Moscow, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- More than 60 visual artists from around the world are taking part in a graffiti art festival that is transforming the Moscow neighborhood of Triojgorka into a massive street art gallery.

"We think of this project as a way to turn this neighborhood from a problem into an attraction, a space that people can visit, even tourists," Dmitri Lióvochkin, organizer of the Urban Morphogenesis Festival, told Efe.

Lióvochkin is also one of the visual artists participating in this popular graffiti festival.

His goal in the ongoing edition is to paint a total of 36 facades.

An immense portrait of Yuri Gagarin smiling, a fish that is half real and half plastic, a couple of teenagers kissing, a bear that captures the moon, a cat that seems to evaporate into smoke, and geometric colorful shapes are just some of the works already completed in the Moscow neighborhood.

Graffiti art on the walls, cranes, stairs and artists from China, the United States, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, France, Japan, and Kazakhstan, among other countries, are an essential part of the atmosphere of Triojgorka.

The project is monumental and unique in its scale, according to organizers.

The gigantic murals on facades, 14 meters wide and 56 meters high, are similar in size to a 16-story building.

"I don't even know how all this started, but it was like a dream. I saw all these concrete walls, all this horror and I wondered, how can people live like this? And I thought that something must be done to draw attention to this neighborhood," Lióvochkin said.

The idea of transforming the neighborhood into a massive street art gallery is convincing locals.

Showing their work in Moscow is a unique experience for artists José Sabaté "El Pez” from Spain, and Colombian Dania Ortega “Chicadania.”

"You always have a wrong idea about people until you get to know them," Sabaté said.

"We have had the opportunity of getting to know how Russians are."

Ortega believes that the main goal of the project is to “transmit good energy,” something that locals appreciate.

"The community is very interested in it. It seems that they enjoy it a lot. They watch, ask, offer us everything," she added.

"It seems that the neighborhood is important for them."

Mexican artist Farid Rueda is already a veteran in the Moscow Urban Morphogenesis Festival, in which he has taken part three times.

The neighbors respond well to the murals as the artists "have arrived to give it a new light, a new life to the whole area, giving it energy," Rueda told Efe.

At the end of August when Urban Morphogenesis Festival will come to its end 50,000 liters of paint will have been splashed onto the walls. EFE-EPA

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