Presence in the Space
Very many people know me due to the leaves. Did many people ask what they meant? I got myself out somehow every time, saying it is like a signature or logo. But what is the point to sign identically within more than 13 years and even to do its several thousand times in different corners of the planet? My hobby may be attributed to the desire to become famous. There is slight share of the truth in it, but when I started to dig deeper, I saw completely new vision of my painting essence and purposes.
The most important in painting for me is the sense, the sense which arises not in me! Now I will explain everything step by step.
I have been interested in graffiti since I was 11 years old, after my trips to Europe with my parents (There was completely nothing in Moscow at that time). Guys whose tags may be met in every district of the city immediately won my heart, not off-the heezy fancy drawings. Very often they were just the three letters of the team name.
Emotionally I was excited how one person or a team was capable to occupy the city in such a scale! I had a view how somebody was standing and painting on the wall along the busy street, how he was looking about and was capable to climb the rain-pipe to paint between the second and the third floors. And each new inscription of this person (team) just intensified the feeling. Later, I was already waiting for and searching the known names!
I was not able to describe these feelings, it happened at the level of emotions which resulted in the actions. Since 2000 in Moscow I actively walked and tagged everywhere mainly in the center. I had the city map and I identified the places where I had been and where still not. I constantly received appreciations. My classmates saw my tags everywhere. All painters whom I met in the paint shops knew my signature. All in all, it gave me power and energy.
But in fact, (I did not understand it at that time) other painters, my classmates and everybody who had known that I drew the specific inscription everywhere became the same observers as I was in Europe. Yes, probably, they did not have such strong feelings, but they felt presence – and this is the most critical in this piece of work! I was obsessed (I understood it only now) not because my inscriptions were known but because my presence volume was increased due to their attention and people confirm this fact.
Since 2001 I have got clear understanding that an ordinary person did not pay attention to the wall inscriptions. Then I started to try to draw different objects as tags. Trying a few, I have come to the yellow leaf which have not changed much over 13 years. I think it is perfect for my work.
Several thousand copies of it in different parts of the world.
Perception of my leaf by an observer (a passer-by) is like that – here is one small leaf, it is one drawing. It was drawn by Kostya Avgust. But based upon my idea, it is a wrong judgement. This leaf is only a part of a large piece of work due to which I want to create the feeling of my presence in the space. Which may be felt by any other person. Until it makes my skin crawl, imagining my feelings, how hardly I was climbing somewhere high or how I was capable to draw in a busy place.
This is the deep essence! All leaves painted in the street are not single, this is “Presence in the Space” piece of work, it shall be perceived exactly like this. Each leaf is its component. But it is comprised not only of leaves!
Graffiti is one of the most short-lived way to make a name for oneself. Sometime the drawing disappears very shortly. But they continue to live on the photos. And! And in the heads of those who had time to see the piece of work.
That is, let us imagine that I drew a leaf on the house corner. At night. And at 10 o’clock in the morning it was painted. 30 persons paid attention to it and 1 person made its photo over this time. Consequently, this leaf did not disappear. It underwent a modification taking the place in the human memory and been kept on the photo-carrier. Surprisingly, but, regardless it does not exist physically, the size of the piece of work about space sense has increased.
I noticed, for example, that you are not drawing for some time. No painted ones are left. But they live in the memory and on the other carrier. And the point is that I achieve it. Previously, old thinking images move me towards that fact that each leaf is on its own. But no, this is a piece of work about presence and feeling in the space.
All leaves will be painted sooner or later, some of them will lose its color, some forgotten buildings with them will be collapsed. It will not be the end of the piece of work related to the presence. The end will be the moment where no information on existence of leaves and their relation to me will is left. May be this will never happen.
In fact, due to new understanding I was capable to explain firstly to myself for what and for the sake of what I am engaged in all this. I hope very much to open eyes for the people and give the possibility to see the Art in a new way.
Moreover, at the energy level I somehow see what I intended will be manifested. I received responses from people in different parts of the world that they come across the leaves in unexpected places and are glad to meet them! Thank you very much for this! I wanted to create the space feeling exactly with this piece of work. The work started in June 2005 and has no exact completion date.
Kostya August “Presence in the Space”