Pavel Pukhov — the street artist known as Pasha P183, also called the Russian Banksy — died on Monday; however, circumstances around his death remain unknown.
He was 29.
The Russian theater company Teatralnoye Delo issued a statement on its website saying Pukhov had died, but didn’t provide further details. Delo had hired him to produce a set for a rock opera, Radio Free Europe said.
He was “a sincere and open person of remarkable talent and unique vision,” Delo representative Regina Vartsan told the Associated Press.
Russia Today reported Pukhov might have killed himself, possibly by hanging, while also mentioning reports he may have been poisoned.
“Like poets who put their thoughts and reflections onto paper, I want mine to be heard,” Pukhov told Russia Today last year. “With my work, I want to communicate certain ideas to people.”
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The Guardian printed some of Pukhov's most compelling works seen around Moscow last year, which reflected his studies of “communicative design.”
He used spray paint, but also three-dimensional art to get his message across. Some of the works feel familiar, such as the riot police painted on subway doors or the schoolgirl sprawled along a back wall of an industrial building.
Then there’s the giant fork stabbed into “spaghetti” of industrial tubing with a giant hand superimposed on a building wall reaching for it. There’s also the little boy cutout with a bolt cutter in one hand and pinwheel in the other.
“In our country, there is a very heavy atmosphere,” Pukhov told the Guardian.
“People are closed-minded, and money is the most important thing. Our state does not support creativity. To me, street art is a tool to send thoughts to people.”