Swiss street artists Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni from the internationally renowned duo NEVERCREW were recently in Satka, Russia invited to be part of the Satka Street Art Festival, curated by Fund Sobranie Moscow, for which they painted two murals.
The first mural, the largest one, was realised in Satka, the administrative center of Satkinsky District in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, founded as an iron mining factory, now built around a giant magnesite quarry positioned in the middle of hills and forests of the Ural Mountains. This is a place that well represents the relation between mankind and nature, the proportion between them and especially a connection based on the use of resources, on which are built the local life and structures.
According to the artists, the work is about proportions and imbalances, about awareness and involvement. Systems, as we know them, are human structures that often take directions that are alien to human nature, human rights and the environment; from nature itself. This trend has led, and still leads to an emotional and intellectual detachment where everything becomes acceptable, also when it causes damage. Where there’s no insight, you don’t measure the consequences of your actions and eventually lose contact with reality.
Having this idea in the background, NEVERCREW painted one large mural, featuring the image of a giant brown bear, filling almost the entire surface of the 8 storey building. The bear is standing, facing the viewer, but it can’t see. It has been blinded by a large stripe of red tarp being pasted up to the wall by two men mounted on a scaffold. It not longer knows where he is or where it belongs, it is lost.
After completing the first wall, the duo decided to paint a small annex to the first mural as a continuation of the bigger mural, in front of the nearby hill. The smaller piece was inspired, not only by the first mural and concept, but also by the city’s mining activities in the quarry. I am loving the little bears inserted in the machinery.
NEVERCREW is a Swiss street artists duo composed by Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni. They have created murals, sculptures, installations since 1996. They generally show great concern for the endangered species in their works, usually painting whales or polar bears trapped/destroyed by the human attitude. This path led NEVERCREW to develop their current approach and to create artworks in many cities of the world.