11 August 1983
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (present-day Moscow, Russia)
1 April 2013 (aged 29)|
|Known for||Street art|
Art and activism
Pavel Pukhov fell in love with free expression when, as an 11-year-old, he stumbled upon Moscow’s infamous Tsoi Wall, an alleyway in central Moscow covered in graffiti and messages commemorating the life and cult following of rock star Viktor Tsoi.
Pavel 183's works range from murals spray-painted on public structures to combinations of audio and video, at times accompanied by a political message. His works have been compared with those of the British street artist Banksy, and U.S. artist Keith Haring.
Like Banksy, Pukhov chose to keep his true identity a secret, revealing only a few biographical details on his website, including his birth and residence in Moscow and his degree in communicative design. However, he did not like the comparison, after 14 years spent forming his own style.
He attacked advertising for its power to deprive people of free will. He described designers as money makers and contrasts them with real artists, whose work he respects most. He was best known for his socially critical installations and grey-scale photorealistic murals. Later in his career, Pukhov explored different techniques of creation, eventually learning to draw in the dark with lights and to incorporate existing environmental aides, such as Moscow's waterways and concrete spaces.
While his works addressed political issues, he claimed not to consider himself a "political artist". One of his last works addresses the issue of the 2011 Russian legislative election, the results of which many in Moscow and around Russia have disputed.
Pukhov received a degree in communicative design, but never used the techniques he learned during his studies. He though had several jobs besides his nocturnal graffiti career, such as System administrator work, designer, restorer, art director, etc. In 2012 he garnered the attention of the international press.
Between 2012 and 2013, he was commissioned by theatrical production company Teatralnoye Delo to design the scenery for the rock musical Todd; the company's spokeswoman announced Pavel Pukhov's death.
Pavel 183 died on 1 April 2013 from undisclosed causes. The cause of death was not released, and sources have given conflicting reports regarding the cause of death. The Times' Ben Hoyle wrote the Russian street art community was "in mourning."
What is culture? Culture - a system of prohibitions
Like poets who put their thoughts and reflections onto paper, I want mine to be heard. With my work, I want to communicate certain ideas to people.
Expressing your opinion is a form of civil defense. My mission was to encourage the opposition movement, to let people know they are not alone in this.
- Pavel 183. "183art.ru" (in Russian). Retrieved 8 February 2012.
- Isachenkov, Vladimir (3 April 2013). "P183 Dead: Street Artist Known As 'Russian Banksy' Dies At 29 Years Old". Huffington Post. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "Fahrenheit Magazine". Fahrenheitmagazine.com. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
- "Street artist was 'Russia's answer to Banksy'". BBC. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
- "Flickering flame: remembering street art pioneer Pasha 183". Calvertjournal.com. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
- Isachenkov, Vladimir (3 April 2013). "P183 Dead: Street Artist Known As 'Russian Banksy' Dies At 29". Huffington Post. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "Moscow's Banksy: the street art of P183 – in pictures". The Guardian. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "Павел P183: "Я - ушелец" - Интервью". Adme.ru. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Zimberg, Alexis (4 February 2013). "Flickering flame: remembering street art pioneer Pasha 183". Calvert Journal. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "The Russian Banksy: street artist P183 decorates the streets of Moscow". The Telegraph. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Staff (4 April 2014). "Pasha P183, mysterious Russian graffiti artist, 29". Boston Herald. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- Mezzofiore, Gianluca (3 April 2013). "Mystery Death of Russian Banksy, Pasha P183, in Moscow". International Business Times. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- Hoye, Ben (3 April 2013). "Mystery of Russian artist's death". The Times. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- Hoyle, Ben (3 April 2013). "Mystery of Russian artist's death". Thetimes.co.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
- "Elusive 'Russian Banksy' explains his mission". Rt.com. 6 February 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
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- Official website (in Russian)