All over western Russia, the buildings are slowly coming to life. They aren’t moving, but they have faces, hands, teeth and eyes. This is all thanks to Nikita Nomerz, a Russian street artist who initiated a series of projects called The Living Walls. Over the past few years, a set of giant hands have been seen reaching out of a pair of silos in Tula; a row of teeth and a set of eyes now grace the side of a bridge in Ekaterinburg; and, currently, the face of an old man can be seen on the side of a tower in Perm (below), with his beard wrapping down the side.
Nomerz started the project in 2010 with the goal of “giving second life to old, and abandoned buildings.” Over the past five years, dilapidated, sometimes crumbling buildings have been transformed into living things, with emotional expressions and individualizing features like beards, laugh lines, and crooked teeth. Nomerz primarily creates his living buildings in the cities of Nizhny Novgorod, Ekaterinburg, St. Petersburg, and Perm, but has also done projects in other cities in Russia like Tula, Vyksa, and Pikalevo. Nomerz has also traveled to Suifenhe, a small city just across the Russian border in the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang. There, he created what was later called The Chinese Resident. One side of a four-story building is now decorated with the smiling, mustachioed face of a man in a light-blue changshan, with the pyramidal roof now painted and serving as his hat.
Nomerz and his art have been featured in several publications, like Petrograff, Russia’s leading magazine specializing in street art and graffiti, and Urban Roots, a magazine devoted to post-Soviet graffiti in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. He’s also appeared in a number of other graffiti and street art magazines printed in France, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. Nomerz is also a frequent guest and contributor to graffiti art shows and festivals throughout Russia and Belarus, including the 2015 Art Kultura Festival in St. Petersburg and the Festival of New Urban Culture in Vyksa, Russia for 2011, 2012 and 2013.
For more information about Nikita Nomerz and The Living Walls, you can visit Nomerz’s website at www.nomerz.com.