And indeed, Alexander Emelyanov in a recent article on the Russian website Sygma presents above photo next to photos of facteur Cheval’s Ideal Palace and of his own creation Aquaduct Tashkent and –establishing a corresponding creative signature between the three creations- he classifies the decorated building as an art environment.
Actually, the decorated building is one of the three supermarkets owned by entrepreneur Dmitry Skurikhin, who in the ever-changing handmade posters gives his opinion on political developments in Russia.
So this site can be considered as an art environment with political messages.
Life and works
Dmitry Shurikin was born on december 1, 1974 in Russko-Vysotskoye, a community in the Leningrad oblast, some 45 km south-west of St Petersburg. He studied engineering at the Baltic State Technical University “Voenmeh” and graduated in 1997.
However, in stead of choosing a technical career, Skurikhin became a businessman when in the late 1990’s he bought an abandoned building where he established a supermarket. Currently in and around Russko-Vysotskoye he owns three shops.
The shop with the decorated walls is located in the village of Ropsha. Shurikhin lives with his family in another village in the region.
In 1996 Skurikhin began to manifest himself as someone with political ambitions, clearly expressing his views and not hesitating to criticize those in power. To a van he used to cross the regio visiting his shops, he added stickers with political statements, which sometimes involved a confrontation with the police.
Participating in the 2009 Russko-Vysotskoye local elections, Skurikhin was elected and became a municipal district council member until 2014, a position he held together with nine members from United Russia.
The artistic potential of the posters
Apart from the political content of the posters, which is not taken into account in this weblog, it can be established that the posters in a creative sense have a strong appearance.
This appearance is mainly based on a sober calligraphy with the use of just capitals and the colors red and black, while illustrations are added only very rarely.
The attractive thing about the posters is that it is clear they were made by a non-professional.
All together Skurikhin’s work might be seen as a a contemporary combination of folk art and art of propaganda.
So an art environment with just posters on an exterior wall as in Skurikhin’s site, might be unique in the field of European art environments.
* Skurikhin’s Facebook page
* article by Elizaveta Maternaya (december 2017) on website Charta’97
* article Maria Bashmakova (february 2018) on website Novayagazeta
* article Skurikhin art (march 2018) by Alexander Emelyanov on website Syg.ma
Posters on an exterior wall
Ropsha, Leningrad region, Russia
can be seen from the street