Skywalking – Russia’s Thrilling but Dangerous Photo Craze

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Skywalking is the latest photography craze among Russian teens. The idea is to be able to find a really high building, climb to the very top and stand at its very edge, imagining you’re on the top of the world. Then, you take photographs from up there to post on the internet. The teens participating in this form of skywalking do so without any sort of safety equipment. Needless to say, they enjoy it very much.

19-year-old Marat Dupri is one such teenager who engages in skywalking. He risks his life quite casually, scaling sky-high buildings and capturing photographs of the world below. It was about 18 months ago that he purchased a camera and started to take pictures from his own roof. But soon, he was aiming for bigger and better ones. Accompanied by a friend, he scaled a 33-storey building to the very top going right to the very edge of the 120 m high structure. According to him, “It was such a thrill; we couldn’t wait to do it again.” And they didn’t. One of the shots shows the group of teenagers scaling one of Russia’s seven Soviet skyscrapers, using a ladder. In another one, his friend is perched at the side of a monument to Peter I, 215 m in the air. There are even photos from atop the Moscow tower, one of the highest buildings in Europe. Dupri and his friends say they’ve taken a lot of photos by sneaking past guards and getting access to structures illegally. He thinks the risks are definitely worth it to take such amazing pictures. “When I am on the roof I have a feeling that the whole world is at my feet. All my problems and troubles are left somewhere down. The height exilarates me. I am enjoying with my home town views. It gives me energy and fills with enthusiasm to make new and great shots,” he says.

..

The Chalk Masterpieces of Rustam Valeev

3 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Rustam Valeev is a 20-year-old street artist from the city of Sterlitamak, Russia. Using simple pieces of white chalk, he is able to create incredibly detailed portraits right on the pavement of his home city.

Doodling with chalk was one of my favorite pastimes, as a kid. I remember I spent hours trying to draw simple things like people, butterflies, or animals, but my works never looked as good as what Rustam Valeev creates. In fact, the only other person I know who can create such realistic artworks is Paul Cadden, who renders photo-realistic masterpieces with graphite and chalk. But while Paul draws on paper, Rustam practices his skills on rough pavement. Although his street art hasn’t been featured by any important Western media outlets, his beautiful portraits have gone viral on some of the most popular sites in Russia.

..

The God Squad – Russia’s Parachuting Priests

3 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Until now, only angels were able to drop in from the skies, but not anymore. Russian priests will be joining in pretty soon, complete with church and everything. No, they won’t be sprouting wings, they will be using parachutes to do their flying. Confused? I’m talking about an elite unit of priests that are currently being trained as a part of the Russian Army. Once the training is complete, they will be able to drop in along with their mobile churches, to hold services for Russian troops posted around the world. Their code name – The God Squad (of course).

More interesting than the parachuting priests themselves, are the mini hi-tech churches they are to carry with them. The self-assembled Russian orthodox churches will come with crucifixes, replica icons, bells and chalices. In short, everything that’s needed for the rituals performed as a part of their religion. An air conditioning unit, generator, refrigerator and mini-theatre will also accompany the priests. The chapel will be placed on the ground using an airborne platform, generally meant for carrying heavy military equipment. Once on the ground, the priests would get to work in assembling the entire church unit, before holding a service.

..

The Secret Life of Ants, Shot by Andrey Pavlov

6 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

We’ve seen insects used as art protagonists before. Mike Libby turns them into steampunk hybrids, and Ubyka creates armed insect cyborgs, but I haven’t seen anything like what Andrey Pavlov does with ants.  This is the touching story of a man who found comfort in studying and immortalizing hardworking ants performing their daily routines.

Andrey Pavlov wasn’t particularly interested in macro photography until seven years ago, when a spinal injury caused him to remain immobilized. That’s when he fell under the charm of these amazing earthlings called ants. He started reading books about them and their behavior, and became fascinated with the way the ant community cares for its weaker members – the children, the old, and the disabled. That’s when he realized they were creatures that commanded respect. This civilization that for the last 150 million years has mastered so many environmentally sustainable ways of surviving and evolving at the same time, really impressed him. So he made it a hobby to observe and take photos of these incredible insects.

..

Russian Tattoo Artist Has His Pet Cat Tattooed

13 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Timur, a 24-year-old tattoo artist from Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan, caused a lot of controversy after he posted photos and a video of him tattooing his pet cat, a hairless Sphynx, on the Internet.

Apparently, Timur wanted his beloved cat, Coco, to have a similar tattoo as the one he had done on his chest. So he just put the hairless feline to sleep for an hour and unleashed his artistic talent on her little chest. Proud of his crazy idea, he videotaped the whole process and took some photos of the finished artwork and posted them on his VKontakte (Russian Facebook) profile. As you can imagine, animal rights activists weren’t very impressed with his achievement, and began accusing Timur of animal cruelty. Although the young artist tattooed Coco under the supervision of a veterinarian, animal lovers claim the Sphynx was still abused for no reason because every time a cat is put under she loses about a year of her life, and because the healing process for the tattoo is very painful. Also, if any paint got into her blood she could get very sick, and even die.

..

Purga Nightclub – Where Every Night Is New Year’s Eve

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

The holiday season is a truly magical time around the world. New Year’s Eve, especially, is seen as a time of hope and new beginnings, a time to forget the old and embrace the new. Most people are in high spirits, celebrating the coming of the new year with much pomp and gusto. But what if you got to celebrate it every single night of the year? Would it still be as much fun? Apparently it would, going by the success of ‘Purga’ – a nightclub in St. Petersburg, Russia, where every night is New Year’s Eve.

Everything that’s needed for a typical Russian New Year’s Eve celebration is available at the club. The Russian national anthem, the new year’s speech of Vladimir Putin on TV, fun costumes, decorations, contests, dancing and singing. Professional actors work at the club as ‘bunnies’, who are basically there to entertain people and make sure they forget all their worries. Ever since Purga was started way back in 2002, it has been popular in town, with table reservations being made at least a week in advance.

..

The Berezka Ensemble – Russia’s Floating Dance Group

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Trade secrets are common in many areas of life, but dancing? I wondered how it could be possible for a dancer to have a secret step, when their art is plain for all to see. Turns out there is a particular dancing group from Russia that has a secret technique – the floating step – that no one can really see.

The Berezka Ensemble was set up in 1948, by choreographer Nadezhda Nadezhdina. Since then, it has become a symbol of sorts, something that Russia has been identified with. Having traveled to over 80 countries for performances, the troupe has recently made the news for something other than their famous floating step. The dancers have covered over 47,000 dancing kilometers, through their signature step. That’s longer than the diameter of the Earth!

Photo © Berezkadance.ru ..

The Mind-Blowing Wood-Carved Paintings of Kronid Gogolev

4 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Kronid Gogolev is a master wood-carver who creates incredibly detailed artworks inspired by the rural and provincial life of Russia’s northern regions.

For our artist of the day we chose to showcase Russian veteran wood-carver Kronid Gogolev, a man’s whose intricate wooden paintings are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Using simple tools, he is able to turn rough pieces of wood into masterpiece depicting the way of life and the traditions of the Russian northern village, capturing its original beauty. Each of his creations has its own unique features and characteristics, but they all manage to capture the attention of the viewer, transporting him to the real-life picturesque settings of the north.

..

Dargavs – Russia’s City of the Dead

5 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

A place called the City of the Dead actually exists in Russia’s North Ossetia, hidden in one of the five mountain ridges that cross the region. Needless to say, several myths and legends shroud the place, with locals claiming that no one has ever come back alive. The ‘city’ hardly ever gets any tourists either, although this might be due to the difficulty of just getting there.

Reaching Dargavs, the City of the Dead, entails a three-hour journey through winding, narrow roads, and several hills. The foggy mountain weather certainly doesn’t help matters. Once there, you’ll find that the city  is in fact another hill covered with small white buildings. It is these very buildings that cause the place to get it’s name. The white house-like structures, countless in number, are stone crypts where locals buried their loved ones. The city itself is an ancient Ossetian cemetery. Each family of the area has a crypt, and the higher the structure, the greater the number of people buried in it. The oldest of the crypts dates back to the 16th century.

..

Real-life Jessica Rabbit Has World’s Biggest Lips

17 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

It’s strange and funny to see how far people would go to achieve the kind of appearance they deem perfect. Case in point is Kristina Rei, a 22-year old nail technician from St. Petersburg, Russia, who has an obsession with the size of her lips. An obsession, that has today, earned her the status of the woman with the biggest lips in the world.

It’s really not uncommon to find women these days resorting to the knife or syringe to enhance their beauty. But what Kristina has done goes beyond the definition of regular beauty enhancements. She has endured over 100 silicone injections on her lips, spending around £4,000 ($6,200) on them.

..

Sculptor Carves Room Entirely Out of Chocolate

6 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

I don’t know what it is about people and chocolate rooms, but they seem to keep making them and we keep writing about them. This time a shopping mall in Kaliningrad, Russia celebrated its fifth anniversary by commissioning an artist to create a room entirely of chocolate.

The idea of building a chocolate room inside Kaliningrad Plaza belonged to Lithuanian ad agency Ad Hunters, who commissioned experienced sculptor Elena Climent to carve it out of 420 kilograms of dark, milk and white chocolate. Measuring around 20 square meters, the delicious-looking room features furniture like a chocolate sofa, table and carpet, as well as chocolate cutlery, candle holders, and flowers. 40% of the room is made of dark chocolate, another 40% is milk chocolate, and the rest is white chocolate.

..

Russian Artist Paints with Molotov Cocktails

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Radya Timofey, a 23-year-old Russian artist is taking the art world by storm with a series of original paintings made by throwing Molotov cocktails at his canvases.

They are often used to cause chaos, but young Radya Timofey is turning Molotov cocktails into art tools to create beautiful portraits of soldiers who fought in World War II. He uses a mix of home-made napalm and oil-based substances to sketch the outlines of the portraits and then throws a Molotov cocktail at the canvas, setting it ablaze. After the artwork has stopped burning, a charred figure is revealed. Although the actual “painting” takes place in abandoned outdoor areas, Radya Timofey says “of course it’s dangerous to use fire like this, but we are careful. We put them on the hospital as a testament to their bravery, in life they literally did have to put their faces in the fire to fight the Nazis.”

..

Manly Man Considers Razors a Luxury, Shaves with Shovel

3 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Alexander Karpenko, a 35-year-old English teacher from Nizhny Novgrod, Russia shaves with all kinds of sharp objects, including a shovel, hatchet or scissors, but not with razors.

Impressed by the war stories his grandfather, a WW2 veteran, told him about men who used anything sharp to shave on the battlefield, Alexander first experimented shaving with scissors when he was 16 years old. He realized razors were a luxury and decided to teach himself to use other more helpful sharp objects for his morning grooming. For the past 20 years, Karpenko has used all kinds of stuff like shovels, chisels or sharp knives to remove facial hair and claims he has never once used a common razor.

..

Russian Couple Build Their Own Fairy Tale Castle

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

A retired couple from the suburbs of Artyom, Russia have worked for 16 years transforming an ordinary house into a fairy tale castle, using only junk materials found on the street and at a local landfill.

They might be pensioners, but Alexey and Valentina Krivov don’t consider themselves too old for fairy tales. They didn’t want to grow old in their grey house and since they couldn’t afford to buy a castle of their own, they decided to build their own castle fit for a prince and princess. Alexey worked in constructions for most of his life and this gave him the chance to be a foreman for his own personal project, and Valentina had experience as a decorator and plasterer, so they figured out most of the details themselves. They started work on their architectural wonder in 1995, salvaging whatever materials they needed from the streets and the nearby construction landfill. As the castle started taking shape, their neighbors started noticing it and became eager to help the Krivovs in whatever way they could.

..

The Subway-Riding Dogs of Moscow

4 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Everyone knows dogs are some of the most intelligent animals on Earth, but the stray canines in Moscow have really impressed scientists with their metro-riding routines. Every day, the dogs living on the outskirts of Russia’s capital jump on the tube all the way to the city center, the best place to scavenge for foods.

During the soviet era, dogs weren’t allowed into subway stations, and since restaurants and fast-food stands were scarce all around Moscow, they had no reason to venture into the city. Most canines preferred to live in the industrial areas, where they searched for food in garbage dumps, or lived on whatever workers threw away. But after the fall of the USSR, the situation changed drastically: their homes on the outskirts of Moscow were taken over by commercial centers and apartment complexes, while restaurants and fast-food carts popped-up downtown. A while ago, I wrote about Cacao, the bus-riding dog of Milan. I thought he was unique, but it appears Moscow strays mastered public transportation years ago.

..

Page 3 of 612345...Last »