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Kazakhstan: Graffiti Gets Artist Invitation to Festival

A mural created by street artist Pavel Kas in the industrial city of Temirtau.

A graffiti artist in the industrial Kazakhstan town of Temirtau has ended up in the authorities’ crosshairs for creating a giant mural in protest at the environmental damage caused by a local smelter.

The mural was painted on the side of an apartment block by Pavel Kas in the style of Henri Matisse’s The Dance and shows a circle of human figures around a chimney stack chugging out thick black smoke. The vividness of the painting is in ironic contrast to the bleak backdrop of the real factories.

But one city’s vandalism is another city’s art, and so the town hall in Shymkent, in southern Kazakhstan, has now invited Kas to take part in an art festival being held there on May 13-15. 

Shymkent Art Days 2016 will host street artists, sculptors, architects, designers and graffiti artists for an event to celebrate contemporary style. While Temirtau has reacted poorly to the notion of people painting on its walls, Shymkent is actively inviting festival participants to break out the paints.

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Kazakhstan: Graffiti Gets Artist Invitation to Festival

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