May 20, 2019

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Faust’s Work Diary: ‘I’ve Just Arrived and I’m Already Behind Schedule’

Faust’s Work Diary: ‘I’ve Just Arrived and I’m Already Behind Schedule’
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11 p.m. My wall is finally prepped. My concept was solidified in New York, and the blueprint of my design was created to fit the wall exactly. I work until 1 a.m. getting the outline of the letters in place before calling it a night.

11 a.m. Walk to Red Square, passing by the Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral. Then to the new Zaryadye Park, designed by a New York-based architecture firm. It’s a totally different design aesthetic than the rest of Moscow.

1:30 p.m. Meet with local graffiti artist Cozek, who I consider to have the best style in Moscow. His crew, ADED (All Day Every Day), has been tapped for a collaboration with the fashion label Off-White that’s scheduled to release next week at KM20, a fashion-forward shop in town. We discuss how artists can leverage working with designer brands to benefit their careers. Cozek also has a collaboration with a furniture company debuting next week at the Cosmoscow art fair, and he was hired as the curator for Social Club, a new restaurant and private club opening next week in Patriarch Ponds. He wants to commission me to paint a mural at the restaurant while I’m in town.

2:30 p.m. Cozek gives me a tour of the space. The venue is beautifully designed and he invites me to choose any wall I want. All of the walls are exposed concrete, and if you paint it, there’s no going back. I seem more concerned about that than he does. I’m drawn to a horizontal wall that would be perfect for my work, but also recognize I have an 80-foot mural to paint and have my return flight scheduled for the end of the week. It would be great real estate, as this place will cater to Moscow society, but I’m reluctant to bite off more than I can chew with my limited time in town.

4 p.m. Cozek and I walk to Belief Moscow, one of the coolest shops in the city. I painted a mural in the entryway last year, and I’m happy to see that it’s still there. The co-owner, Sergey Kub, lights up when he sees me, as the visit was completely unexpected. He’s also preserved another 20-foot mural of mine behind a false wall. It reads “Resistance is Patriotic.” I show him that it’s one of the designs selected by Rei Kawakubo for my upcoming collaboration with Commes des Garçons, coming out in January.

6 p.m. I’d planned on putting in a full night of work on the mural, but receive an email that there’s a big group dinner for all of the artists and curators. Afterward, when everyone else goes back to the hotel to sleep or keep drinking, I go to Winzavod to work.

2 a.m. Back at the hotel.

12 p.m. Return to Winzavod to work on the mural. Many of today’s well-known street artists travel with an assistant, if not a team, to help bring their vision to life. Some artists are hands-on, while others don’t even touch the wall themselves. You can call me a perfectionist, or perhaps a masochist, but I typically travel alone, and create my works solely with my own two hands from start to finish. Which, admittedly, is not always most efficient.

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