Kirill Lebedev (Kto) is something of a cult figure within Moscow’s street art subculture, contributing immensely not only through his diverse work as an artist, but also as one of the few theorists and curators of street art. In his efforts to create a more self-conscious, intelligent, and meaningful culture for the streets, Lebedev has systematically declared war on hollow practices such as tagging and purposeless graffiti, while continually questioning and revisiting his own beliefs and convictions as an artist. His recent works are often dark and pessimistic messages executed in psychedelic patchworks of color, and are at once uplifting and disquieting. For the Moscow Garage Triennial in 2017, Lebedev created a monumental work on a wall of the Gorky Park administration building. The wall that has been made available to him for this purpose is one he says he has been interested in for a while. The wall is strange in that it includes two sets of stairs leading nowhere, the doorways having long been sealed. Ladders are a longtime passion for Lebedev, and Muscovites may remember the strange ladder-insect creature that has slowly crawled the walls of the city since 2001. The artist explains with affection how this creature spends its life crawling upwards and discovering new territories and, when it dies, its body fossilizes and others can use it as a bridge.
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