Visual metaphors

  • Ekaterinburg. Russia
  • Tula. Russia
  • Cherepovets. Russia
  • Moscow. Russia
  • Nizhniy Tagil. Russia.
  • Khanty-Mansiysk. Russia
  • Illustrations, comprehensible only by Russians
  •      I would like to write a few words about the creation of a series of works devoted to cities of Russia. If we talk about Russia, many people in Europe and America imagine it as a severe state with a communist past and with tyrants as heads of state. These cliches are not so remote from reality, the past cannot be concealed. But there are images that are understandable only to the people of Russia, who are familiar with the history of their cities.
         In general, I like to combine different signs and symbols in my work to cover the topic. The first thing I try to identify the most expressive objects related to the topic, and then come up with an idea how to combine them in an interesting way into a single composition. Just like in the illustration “Ekaterinburg” I presented crown with a bullet hole, the crown itself also resembles the letter E (reference to the name of the city). As it is well known, it was the Bolsheviks (communists) who killed last Russian Emperor Nickolay the second with his whole family. The city is not proud of such a chapter in its history, but it is an important event for the whole country, moreover my home and my institute are located near the places where this happened and I could not help but tell about this.
        I would like to tell a few words about Tula. What does an average Russian know about this city? Tula represents Tula honey-cakes, Tula samovars (such kettles to boil water on charcoal) and the famous Tula weapons. Weapon-smiths made fantastic high quality and beautiful weapon both blade and fire weapon. We connect two simple images and get the image that is much stronger in its influence.
        Cherepovets. City is an ecological hell. Plant-City. Yellow sky and fire from chimneys, rivers with all colors of the rainbow. From a distance this city seems to be the city of orcs from the novel “Lord of the Rings.” Cherepovets can be divided into two words: Cherep – “the Scull” and Ovets – “the Sheep”, although this city has no connection to sheep, it's just a game of letters comprehensible only by Russian people.
        Moscow is a city by which foreigners judge our whole country. There are really a lot of people there, perhaps not as many as in Mexico City and Shanghai, but enough to feel social pressure. See how many people of different faiths are there. With a lot of mosques, it seems that the majority of people are Muslims, people who have come here from the nearest republics to earn money. There soon will be so many Muslims that they will rebuild the Kremlin (the main building in the country) into their mosques. By combining two images of the Kremlin and mosque we get the illustration with keen social theme, reflecting the realities of our lives.
        Nizhny Tagil. The City, being the center of production of steel and various metal products, is most famous as the largest exporter of railway cars. It is said that if we put all cars produced at this plant into a single chain, the chain can wrap the globe several times (I do not know how far this is from the truth). Moreover the city is famous for its cheap beer in 2 liter plastic bottles. Come and try it. Welcome to Russia.