Festival In Moscow, Russia, Lets Graffiti Artists Paint
Like in many other places around the world, graffiti art was not always welcome in Russia. However, the Dream Energy graffiti festival taking place in Moscow in July of this year encourages Russia’s graffiti artists to come out and let their creativity go wild, painting the gray walls of Moscow’s ubiquitous power stations. Historically, graffiti artists have been part of the underground movement in Russia. But, trends are changing, and the acceptance for graffiti art is on the rise.
As part of the festival, organised by the Moscow United Energy Company (MOEK) and the city government, about 2,500 power stations around town are to be painted.
"The idea of a festival of this kind was originally developed on the grass-roots level," Pyotr Safroshkin, the festival's coordinator for Tagansky district, said in a telephone interview. "Counterculture youths brought forward an idea that officially approved places for graffiti art should be provided. And festivals of this kind are a great opportunity for them to do something legitimate. If they take part in the festival, they get paint, ladders and some security."
Meanwhile, illegal graffiti still qualifies as vandalism and is punishable under the Administrative Code with a fine of up to 40,000 roubles, although in most cases underground graffiti artists are never caught.