'Russian Banksy' Pasha P183 dies aged 29
Thursday 04 April 2013
A prominent Russian graffiti artist who hid his identity behind the tag Pasha P183 and has been compared to Britain's Banksy has died aged just 29.
The Teatralnoye Delo theatrical production company, which recently commissioned him to create scenery for the musical Todd, said he died on Monday in Moscow. It gave no further details.
Teatralnoye Delo's spokeswoman Regina Vartsan, who knew the artist, described him as a "sincere and open person of remarkable talent and unique vision."
Like Banksy, and late US artist Keith Haring, Pasha P183 started out painting graffiti in the dead of night, and recalled being detained numerous times by Moscow police.
One of his most famous works was painted on the ground in a snow-covered yard and features a huge pair of glasses, with a lamppost serving as one arm. Another piece showed chocolate bars painted on a panel of concrete, an image he said reflected his abhorrence of the commercialisation of art and life.
"I wanted that work to carry the most important message ... that a person mustn't sell himself," he said in a rare interview posted on adme.ru last year. "I made a chocolate bar that can't be bought, using a giant panel of concrete."
He said the work provided a more optimistic ending for a film he made - the original one had the hero jumping out of the window to his death, while the alternative had him landing safely in front of the chocolate bar.
Little was known about the artist, who carefully protected his identity. In the same interview, he described himself as an "anarchist" and spoke with contempt about the "constant run for money" in Moscow.
Many of his street works had political undertones and carried an apparent reference to a recent wave of massive street protests in Moscow against president Vladimir Putin's rule. One showed a protester lighting a flare and another work had shield-carrying riot police on a subway station's glass doors.
"Put simply, I want to teach people in this country to tell lies from the truth and to tell bad from good," he said in an interview with Russia Today television, wearing a black ski mask that covered most of his face. "This is what our people still cannot do."
Despite all that, he said he did not consider himself a political artist and hated politics just as much as he hated advertising.
The artist has claimed to have had many professions since graduating from a university, working as a computer expert, photographer, cameraman, film director and even child psychiatrist. He scoffed at comparisons to Banksy, saying they belittled his own style.
The rock musical Todd is currently showing in Moscow.
"It was a colossal work," Pasha P183 wrote on his Facebook page of the production of the scenery. "If I die tomorrow, I can at least feel that I have left something real behind."
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
- 2 Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
- 3 Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 5 Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers