Culture

Grab the attention and share positive emotions: street artists on their art and inspiration

Grab the attention and share positive emotions: street artists on their art and inspiration
Moscow parks are good not only for lengthy walks or active games but also for admiring creative performances. These are impromptu stages for musical bands, magicians, artists, dancers, and other entertainers. This article can help you find some good spots to listen to bard songs or marvel at unique tricks.

You don’t need any special reason for listening to nice music or enjoying some shows ― your favorite leisure spots are now equipped with venues for participants of the “Street Artist in Parks” pilot season to perform. Among them are musicians, dancers, stilt-workers, mimes, artists, magicians, and other street performers. Moscow Production Center launched the project last winter.

“We chose participants for our project through a serious casting. Over 400 artists applied for the project; 113 bands and solo artists became the winners. They are the ones performing in Moscow parks. The main selection criteria were performance skills, stage image, overall impression and how well they fitted into the park concept. Over four days of live auditions, park representatives were selecting artists to convey their concept. Thus, Gorky Park chose bard performers more often than not, the Hermitage Garden opted for academic and jazz music,” said Granislava Artemyeva, Deputy Director of the Moscow Production Center.

You can performances by street artists at 48 venues: in 17 Moscow parks, including Gorky Park, Sokolniki and Khodynka Field, in the park areas of the Dream Island amusement park, venues in front of the Library of Foreign Literature and the Paveletskaya Plaza mall. Find the full list of venues and calendar of performances on the project webpage.

Covers on the famous hits

Neon City Band is one of the project’s brightest participants. Their signature features are not their colored costumes or some special light work, but their vibrant stage presence and choice in music. They make covers on beloved songs by Valery Meladze, Leonid Agutin, Ruki Vverh!, t.A.T.u., and others. You can listen to unusual arrangements of famous hits in the park areas of the Dream Island and Paveletskaya Plaza, as well as in the Izmailovsky Park.

“We choose songs that Muscovites will really like and perform them our way by adding a pinch of drive or changing the rhythm. It makes songs more lively and interesting, which catches the attention of passers-by,” notes Gleb Karsanov, Neon City Band lead guitar.

He’s been in the band for over four years. Gleb has a degree in programming; during his university years, however, he realized he can’t live without music.

He’s very serious about each performance: together with his colleagues, he thinks through the whole set in advance and never shows up at the venues in a bad mood.

“The opportunity to perform in Moscow parks is so rich with inspiration and emotions that cannot be described. The project gives musicians a chance to show and prove themselves, share their art with people and give them joy,” the guitarist adds.

Gleb’s dream is to write a bard song that will kick start the band’s popularity and open the way to new opportunities. He thinks that the project was a great opportunity to find out what Muscovites really like and how to find the musical key to their hearts.

Fashion sense and indie music

Formal hats, flower wreaths, indie and pop-rock music are a comprehensive description of another street band. The band Obnimi Kita (“Embrace the Whale”) shares original songs with Muscovites in the Bauman and the Hermitage Gardens. Young musicians play guitar, cellos, and two unusual percussion instruments: a box-like cajón and a goblet-shaped percussion. The combination of these instruments makes the music truly unique.

On winning the competition, the musicians were happy to go and conquer the city venues. This opportunity was a real breakthrough for the band, shared the lead singer Evgenia Rybakova.

“We’re happy to take part in the project; it’s a real big deal not only for us as musicians but also for the city. It sets the mood for the whole of Moscow. It’s not just a restless megacity with an endless mass of traffic now, but also a source of inspiration. In one park, you can listen to bard music, and in another, you can watch a mime. This creates a multifaceted cultural image of the capital,” says the interviewee of mos.ru.

Evgenia writes her own lyrics and music. She finds inspiration in the world around her and phrases that seem incongruous. She is sure that her audience likes funky melodies with funny lyrics and lyrical songs that create good vibes. These are the songs the band performs in the Moscow parks.

Magic in your hands

There are real magicians among the participants of the project. For example, illusionist Andrey Makarenko can swap objects in plane view, guess someone’s card and even find his own watch in the pockets of the audience.

“Magic tricks inspire such a delight among Muscovites, especially children are happy. I often do the card tricks, for example, I can make the whole deck change color. Often the audience is sure that I hide all the objects in my pockets, then I do the trick and fish out my watch out of their pockets,” says the illusionist.

Andrey has dreamed of becoming a magician since his childhood. One day, he saw a stranger deftly tossing cards and doing tricks and decided to master the same skill. For eight whole years he was honing his techniques, so today he can surprise even the most disinterested skeptic. At the age of 22, he created his own program which he performs in parks.

“It was an accident, really, how I got into the “Street Artist in Parks” project: one of my friends told me to apply for the admission. I was selected and now I understand that this is a unique opportunity to perfect my skills and try my hand at something new. The project brings a little bit of magic into the Moscow routine,” says Andrey Makarenko.

You can watch the illusionist’s performance and learn to believe in miracles in Lianozovsky, Izmailovsky, Perovsky and other Moscow parks.

Create a universe in five minutes

Krasnaya Presnya, Izmailovsky, and Filyovsky parks prepared a real show for the Muscovites. There, a team of street artists spray paints canvases with planets of the Solar System, silhouettes of people and animals, as well as cities. Colorful shapes and vivid stories appear in just five minutes. The team consists of three masters: an artist, his assistant and a specialist responsible for lighting and music.

“We work in the sprayprint technique; we paint with spray cans on sheets of coated paper. It’s always an improv. We use stencils to create shapes and then add colors. We cover the work with varnish and then set it on fire, so the paints dry faster, while it also creates peculiar effects. The whole process takes up from five to seven minutes which really astonishes those who watch us work. The art is created before their very eyes,” says Aleksandr Marchenko, the artist.

Alexander loved drawing since childhood and devoted almost all his life to his art. He has been practicing the spraypaint technique for 16 years. Despite his academic education, the artist mastered this style independently and for the first time introduced it to Muscovites in 2006. The 65-year-old artist is happy to teach the younger generation what he knows and charges the audience with positive emotions. He is sure that a chance to do what one loves close to nature and under the curious gazes of passers-by inspires him to accomplish more.

“This project gives me a platform to share my vision with people, inspire delight and introduce them to something new and interesting. After all, art is an exchange of energy and emotions. It is street artists and other performers who set the mood in the capital,” the artist highlights.