Street artist Pasha P183, dubbed by many as Russia’s version of Banksy, has died at the age of 29, reports the International Business Times. Few details are known about Pasha’s personal life; however, he did give a small number of interviews to outlets that included the Guardian, Russia Today, and a select few others. His most famous work was a giant pair of glasses, with a lamppost giving the allusion of an arm, painted on a snow-covered yard. Though he was a street artist, P183’s message and actions made him no more similar to Banksy than any other street artist, and his legacy will be left in his great works dotting Moscow.
While it is easy for reporters and citizens alike to compare Pasha P183 to Banksy due to the fact that they are both high-profile street artists, they are in fact very different. Both used a number of political themes in their art; however, Pasha P183 described himself as an “anarchist” and has tried to distance himself from Banksy when he gives interviews. He has said to the Guardian in a 2012 interview that, “I fully understand that we both have a common cause, but I never sought to emulate him or anyone else. I use the songs of people such as Yegor Letov and Konstantin Kinchev for inspiration – not public figures.”
According to that same interview in the Guardian, he has been writing poems on the Tsoi Wall in Moscow since he was only 11 years old. Over the course of his 18-year career, Pasha P183’s work can be seen all across Moscow, despite the strong stance against street art in Russia. Some of Pasha P183’s other famous work includes chocolate bars painted on a panel of concrete, a work that he described as a reflection of “his abhorrence of the commercialization of art and life.”
Pasha P183 was currently working on a rock musical entitled “Todd,” currently playing in Moscow. According to numerous sources, his Facebook page said, “It was a colossal work, if I die tomorrow, I can at least feel that I have left something real behind.”
While he may feel as if this is his only real thing, his works of art that used to populate the streets of Moscow will not soon be forgotten and his work as both an artist and as an activist will make his legacy live on. You can check out more of his work in this BuzzFeed article.