Artist turns air pollution into something beautiful by smearing the soot off cars and trucks with his fingers
Russian artist Nikita Golubev is transforming Moscow one dirty car at a time.
“I was looking for new types of canvases, something where I could draw widely … it’s a like a giant sketchbook,” he says in a video on his YouTube channel.
He found both free canvases and free paint on the backs and sides of big, dirty trucks.
Since discovering the medium almost four years ago, Golubev has perfected his craft – which he calls “dirty car art,” and become quite famous for it.
He uses both his gloved fingers and dry paint brushes to remove the “paint” – or soot – he doesn’t want, leaving behind unbelievably intricate murals.
Sometimes he asks vehicle owners permission to draw in their dust… Sometimes he leaves them to be “surprised.”
Sometimes his images are simply intended to cheer people up.
Sometimes they convey a deeper message.
“In Volokolamsk, a city near Moscow, people are suffering from toxic gas coming from the garbage dump,” he writes about a mural titled “Fresh Air for Our Children.”
“I was driving near this truck every day, passing it on my way to workroom. It was so perfectly dirty, I decided to make something big on it. It is about something big and ancient that lays beneath us and abut how tiny we are in the scale of time,” Golubev writes about the photo below.