New St. Isaac’s in details: “graffiti” on the office walls

On the walls in some of the offices in the business center you may spot some unusual images – graffiti.

The idea of adorning the walls with such drawings belongs to designer Elena Bomash. Firstly sketches were made and next, without any preliminary steps, in other words by putting markers to the wall, drawings began to appear. The stories behind the artwork draw on the past and present of house number 24, Yakubovich Street, and they have an ironic slant.

The first graffiti appeared on the walls of a kitchen in one of New St. Isaak’s offices in 2012. In that creation you can see Ekaterina II as she made a gift of our building to the German colonists in 1768; of course, the house would become the trading building of the Sarepta Society. In the empress’s hands is a jar of the renowned Sarepta mustard and on the adjacent wall the ancient recipe for the Sarepta honey priyanik is written.

The drawing was made using permanent white marker on black linoleum. The artists left empty speech bubbles specially for the creative employees of the office, in which they are able to share their thoughts, write notes or congratulate colleagues using colored chalk.

The second piece, featuring a bicycle, appeared on the walls of another office in the spring of 2013. To a greater degree than the first, this drawing belongs to the street art genre. Many street artists employ this technique, using linear drawings on a wall; one of the main principles behind it the connection of the image with the elements of the space surrounding it, be it the wall of the building, a window, a trash can, a bench, or a corner. All of the instruments depicted match their real-life counterparts in terms of dimensions: you can sit on that bicycle, put on that raincoat and trainers, or get on that ladder.

The artists used special, permanent markers designed for drawing on brick and concrete. The work turned out to be labor-intensive as the markers kept on getting stuck in the cracks between bricks; however the artists were able to draw so accurately that, at first glance, you can hardly see that it’s a relief.

In the artworks you can also find objects connected with the building. For example, the artists made an exact copy of the lithograph of G.Berendhoff from the book by T.Jungboot, published in 1855, in which our building is shown. And the bicycle reflects the city trend towards cycling and reminds tenants that free bicycles are always available for rent in the business center.

Artists: Leonid Tskhe and Svetland Antagulova. Having met at the I.E. Repin Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, the young couple formed an artistic and romantic union. Nowadays they illustrate books, paint and collaborate with Elena Bomash and Olga Stebakova’s design studio.

“With the help of graffiti we were able to humanize the work space, create a lighter atmosphere and add some laughter to official, business life. The drawings are individual: the first conveys the historical wealth of the building, and the second focuses on the figure of the modern tenant: young, active, loves reading and is a good cyclist.”

Read other articles in this section:
New St. Isaac’s in detail: Putilov stone
New St. Isaac’s in detail: Office partitions and doors
New St. Isaac’s in detail: Kitchenette
New St. Isaac’s in detail: construction of storage solutions