Russian Graffiti Tour

08.23.12 Marina Galperina

“Laugh at the edge of the abyss,” bud. Journalist turned popular blogger Elia Kabanov of Metkere loves graffiti and has generously shared his snaps from Novosibirsk, Russia and Odessa, Ukraine and beyond. Now, I’m going to translate them for you because they’re cheery.

Kabanov tells ANIMAL:

In Odessa, you can find beautiful graffiti on almost every wall. I really like typography, unusual fonts and weird signs.

I consider graffiti as a way to upgrade city enviroment. It makes our streets and buildings less formal and more, you know, user-friendly. Most of works that I capture are, indeed, funny and I like it. But there’re a lot of shitty graffiti and ugly tags which I don’t approve. On the other hand, I’m not an art expert to call it vandalism, so let the 1000 flowers bloom.

I personally love the vigor of some of these exclamations, the existentialist jokes, the utter ridiculous nonsense terribly scribble-sprayed in Cyrillic, bringing joy to my heart. Check some out here and in the gallery above.

“DEMONS” Thanks for the warning, chum.

“Bar of peeling cocks.” I have been assured this isn’t gay slang, but chav.

“Dumb Sheep”

“Laugh at the edge of the abyss.”

“There is no life here.”  Oh, Slavs being existential and pessimistic. Shocking.

“Bougies up against the wall!” 

“Ligalize Eucalupt!” 

“KEFIR” When picking a graffiti alias, do you really want to name yourself after buttermilk? C’mon.

Banksy? Nice try.

Keith Haring? Aw, nice try too.

“Daddy, don’t drink!” Moralizing stencils. Shoot me.

“No cap, no slavery!” Word.