0331c: “I Am Just the Letters on the Fence”

Zhenya / 0331c is one of Moscow's most active  street artists, but for some reason we had not yet written about him. I have closely followed his activities since the mid-00's and distinctly remember admiring his works, which were included in my books. I like that his artful graffiti nickname is not written in a wild, American-influenced style. It comes in different patterns, sometimes childish and naive, but always pleasant.
The fonts themselves are of less importance, but his work has always made itself felt and still communicates to the audience his graffiti background and sub-cultural involvement. I am not a big fan of refined or stylized fonts, which is why I really enjoy 0331c's works. The principal and only meaning of his graffiti is that the font is clearly 0331c's, and nothing more.

Many of his projects move away from the canons of classic, font-based graffiti and he brings a creative approach to the traditions of bombing and tagging. At one time he was actively experimenting on rooftops (drawing on top of buildings and roofs), and these days creates his illegal works using a fire extinguisher to reinterpret standard graffiti principles (scale, appearance, font, conciseness, etc.). Working with tagging as a fundamental starting point for the development of graffiti, 0331c tries to transform and clarify images for the viewer, which is rare.


For example, the tree he made on New Year's eve in 2012 was 'dressed up' for three days by a whole group of graffiti artists. And it was not just a New Year's "greeting" for people, but a reflection of the close communication and integrity within the graffiti community, symbolizing the festive ritual of comfort in the format of street art.


Faster and more expressive in this series made using a fire extinguisher were 0331c's 'Ballerina' and 'Cat' , both a delight when you encountered them. Bumping into them in the city, you were reminded of what street art should be: surprising and stunning. Like a flash. And, of course, they were nice for the people living in these buildings, but, were almost immediately painted over.


I am also repeatedly reminded of the multi-storey bird houses, which he created a few years ago in two Moscow parks. They are great examples of street art and graffiti objects, but at the same time are a nice option for birds and for passers-by.


Zhenya has a special fondness for trees. In his drawings you can often find natural motifs, and the birdhouses were probably a continuation of his series of paintings on the trunks of "sick" trees. These trees are usually painted a hideous, acid green, but 0331c complements them with fairytale characters, which often make reference to ancient Slavic motifs. It is strange that such a harmless, asocial and apolitical street art, can not be reconciled by the city. The apparent reason is that the painting draws extra attention to sick trees. What nonsense!




But perhaps my favorite project was his hike along the Moscow ring road, lasting more than two days and covering a length of 109 km. Ozzik and his friend, Alexeev Grechko, discovered a new frontier to the city, and at the same time created a new form of urban tourism.


It is possible that given our rates of urbanization and environmental degradation, this type of hiking will be quite in demand and more relevant. And even if not, I recommend everyone go on this route to see the city in a new light, and to perhaps make their emotional map of the city.


And this week, 0331c is exhibiting his porcelain sculptures of fences, symbolic of the objects found across our vast country. In this project, the fence is given special attention as the bearer of graffiti. He made 133 indescribably figurines, painted by hand (which is very rare) on Soviet porcelain, and reminiscent of the objects meticulously collected by our parents. It makes you want to buy them and put them in the cupboard. Which you will have the opportunity to do from February - March 12 at the XL Gallery in Winzavod.


Artist's website: