The Walls Have Eyes: Abandoned Spaces Given Graffiti Facelifts

Yohani Kamarudin
Yohani Kamarudin
Scribol Staff
Art and Design, March 18, 2013
  • “Monster House” in Nizhny Novgorod

    Two giant eyes stare out of a decrepit wall, and a mouth filled with large, white teeth yawns wide. It almost sounds like a scary scene from a horror movie, but the effect seen here is actually quite sweet and comical. The graffiti is the work of Russian street artist Nomerz, who transforms old buildings into wonderfully realistic faces.

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  • “Glutton” in St. Petersburg

    Nikita Nomerz (as he is known) hails from the city of Nizhny Novgorod in western Russia, and the works shown here, collectively known as the “The Living Wall,” were painted during his travels around his native country. Nomerz prefers to create his street art in urban centers, particularly in abandoned places where he can work undisturbed.

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  • “Toothyman” in Ekaterinburg

    Nomerz says his intention is not to destroy with his graffiti, but to create. “With my street art work, I fill the urban emptiness,” he told Global Street Art. He finds inspiration in cities, people, music, movies, and the work of other artists.

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  • “Trash Monster” in Nizhny Novgorod

    Although he terms it “The Living Wall,” Nomerz’s street art isn’t confined to just bricks and mortar. In this piece, he has transformed a log into a rather ferocious-looking crocodile, even adding a few rocks as teeth. The creature is aptly named “Trash Monster,” and Nomerz created him in his home city of Nizhny Novgorod.

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  • “The Big Brother” in Nizhny Novgorod

    Nizhny Novgorod is full of Nomerz’s hidden treasures, and this laughing face can be found on a water tower in the city. Nomerz often incorporates architectural features into his art; as you can see, the two windows in this piece have become eyes. Even though his works might look complicated, Nomerz says that they really don’t take long to create, and he can get a piece finished fairly swiftly.

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  • “Open Your Eyes” in Irkutsk

    This face on a wall in Irkutsk is wonderfully finished with a pair of shiny spectacles and beautifully arched eyebrows. With clever use of paint, Nomerz manages to give his graffiti a touchable, 3D effect; even the creases in the face look realistic.

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  • “The Faces” in Perm

    Nomerz has drawn faces with three different expressions on these large cylinders in the Russian city of Perm. We wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of the middle face, which is particularly angry-looking. Modestly, Nomerz says that he doesn’t really know what people think of his graffiti. Most, he tells Global Street Art, seem to like it. “But people are different!” he adds. “Maybe they annoy someone, or some people are frightened even. Some people may not notice them and just pass by.”

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  • “Mostr” in Ekaterinberg

    In this photograph, the artist has transformed the arched brickwork into a set of gleaming white teeth. It’s just a shame that people traveling over the bridge are oblivious to such a brilliant piece of (dental) work.

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  • “The Eyes of the City” in Nizhny Novgorod

    The work featured here is titled “The Eyes of the City”, and the blue peepers look really striking against the white of the snow that has fallen here in Nizhny Novgorod. This piece shows Nomerz’s versatility: he can get great results whether he is working on brick buildings or wooden barrels.

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  • “Watcher Man” in Krasnoyarsk

    This round brick structure has a cheerful appearance despite being in a lonely location. Nomerz’s street art is scattered around in unexpected places, and the pieces must surprise people who come across them. They certainly brighten up boring areas of gray towns and cities.

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  • “Breaking Out” in Tula

    In this menacing-looking artwork, it appears as if an enormous giant has broken free from his prison and is just about to emerge from the darkness so that he can wreak havoc on the population. These hands, found in Tula, are a bit different to the usual faces that Nomerz paints, but we think they’re one of his most effective pieces.

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  • “The Fire in the Eyes” in Nizhny Novgorod

    Talk about bright eyes! This image shows that even two tiny holes can be an inspiration for a work of art, and with light shining through those gaps, the full-on effect is striking if viewed at the right time.

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  • Untitled in Nizhny Novgorod

    A dilapidated building in Nizhny Novgorod is rendered much more charming with the addition of Nomerz’s style of graffiti. We love the chilled expression on its face. Not all of Nomerz’s works are authorized, but the artist says he has never had any serious problems with the police while creating his pieces. As well as painting by night, he will also work at festivals by request.

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  • “Underground Dweller” in Nizhny Novgorod

    “I have been called an underground artist, but if you’re doing street art you’re not underground,” Nomerz told The Telegraph. “You’re already on everyone’s mind, even if you paint on abandoned rubbish and only a couple of homeless people see your work. It is public art. It would be nice if people started paying more attention to what is around us.”

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  • “Just Smile” in Nizhny Novgorod

    This clever piece of street art is layered. The face is painted on the wall behind, while ears appear on either side of the large alcove. The space above the brickwork gives the effect of a shiny, bald head. Overall, it shows off Nomerz’s distinct imagination and skill.

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  • “The Sly Smile” in Kazan

    The face on this building in Kazan has an expression that Nomerz describes as “The Sly Smile.” The strikingly blue eyes add a dash of color to the wall in its wet surroundings. And a ladder and paint cans can be seen on the ground in front of the wall, indicating that the artist may have completed it just before the photo was taken.

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  • “Riverman” in Novosibirsk

    This painted structure, called “Riverman,” wears a placid expression as it sits by the water in Novosibirsk. We imagine that being greeted by this smiling face would cheer up anyone on their morning commute.

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  • “Mr. Rooftop” in Rostov-on-Don

    Nomerz has brought a lot of bright color to this dull building in Rostov-on-Don. The round face with its piercing eyes adds a bit of liveliness to this out-of-the-way location, as do the crazy pink and orange lines. Nomerz is a student of design and says that he likes to experiment with his street art.

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  • “The Keeper of the Keys” in Pikalevo

    An old man with long, braided hair adorns this water silo in Pikalevo. He has the mysterious title of “The Keeper of the Keys,” and you can just about see a key clutched in his hands. The artist must have an incredible head for heights, as well as being talented with a can of paint.

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  • “The Green Beard” in Rostov-on-Don

    To some minds, graffiti might still be controversial – not to mention, in many places, punishable by law. But even so, the “Living Wall” series shows how street art can beautify an otherwise uninteresting, and even ugly, piece of architecture.

    Sources: 1, 2

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