P183’s Underground Light Art

Pavel 183 is a Russian street artist from Moscow, now known to many as the Russian Banksy – a name given to him after recent coverage of his art by the British media: Guardian, Daily Mail and Telegraph. In this post, we share his project Underground Light Art, works created from 2005—2008.


The uniqueness of P183's work comes from the fact that a lot of his art was created not on the streets of the city, but underground, beneath its surface. Creating his own form of underground communication, his works "shook the air" of the frozen world of Moscow's catacombs.


P183's innovativeness comes from the way he combines techniques of photography and projection to show viewers the mysterious, industrial underground world of tunnels and their entrances. These tunnel networks – once used for defense purposes – sank into oblivion after the fall of the Soviet empire.


P183's love for the Moscow megapolis' underground environment was influenced by the information he heard from diggers. After perusing several articles about this unique phenomenon, the artist dared to go down under ground, spending nearly a year independently investigating the formerly unaccounted territories of the city's catacombs. Enjoying their greatness and beauty, he got the idea to re-interpret the spaces using photography – to make the underground come alive.


Pavel did not want to spoil the walls of underground catacombs. So as not to disrespect these old vaults, and not to leave any permanent marks of his stay, the artist decided that instead of drawing or painting on the walls he would project images.

The next stage of realizing his plan was to find a wireless projector. In the absence of any being sold, the artist had to create the device himself.


The result was a unique invention — a six-voltage, water-proof, anti-shock, portable projector. Combined with a "Minolta z1" camera, which had a good automatic focus for night conditions, the artist now had everything necessary for his creative works in the extensive space of Moscow's underground. And so, the artist began to practice and develop his own trend in street art — Light Art.


P183's web-site:
Underground light art on the P183's web-site 
Objects — a book about Russian street art