The Russian street artist Pasha P183, known for his irreverent and playful murals and public artworks incorporating elements of the built environment and dubbed “Russia’s Banksy,” has died in Moscow at age 29 under unknown circumstances. The Teatralnoye Delo theater company, which had recently commissioned him to create the backdrop for its production of a musical titled “Todd,” told the AP that the artist had died on Monday, but gave no additional information.
The artist recently left an ominous message on his Facebook page regarding the completed backdrop commission. “It was a colossal work,” he wrote. “If I die tomorrow, I can at least feel that I have left something real behind.”
In addition to works featuring hooded and masked figures, Pasha P183 was fond of turning features of the streetscape into giant, Oldenburg-sized versions of everyday objects, from a pair of glasses incorporating a lamppost in a snowy field (above), to a series of concrete slabs painted to look like a stack of chocolate bars.
“Put simply, I want to teach people in this country to tell lies from the truth and to tell bad from good,” he once told Russia Today in a television interview, during which he remained disguised, further fueling his frequent comparison to the similarly secretive Banksy. “This is what our people still cannot do.”
— Benjamin Sutton
(Images courtesy the artist.)