Street Artist, teacher, and cultural emissary Specter just returned from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan where he was working with local artists in a project called Global Art Lab to try their hand at painting walls, including these inside a crumbling theater building. The under-utilized Tashkent space is spare and open and analogous to the abandoned and neglected places that many Street Artists and graffiti writers are attracted to around the world, not to mention its storied past that adds to the somewhat haunting quality of the roughened interior.
Specter (photo © Specter)
The top two floors of the Ilkhom Theater (Ильхом Театр Марка Вайля) were destroyed in a fire two decades ago and its founder Mark Weil was murdered at its entrance the day before a performance in 2007. Today performances and rehearsals take place in the spaces that remain usable – but the roof still gives them problems.
Working through the organization CEC ArtsLink, the Brooklyn artist feels like his teaching style was perfect for the environment and was happy to have bright minds engaged to activate the walls here. “The artists were extremely talented,” he says. “They worked hard and I think we created a really special exhibition.” The organization also has featured others from the street art/public arts scene including Mark Jenkins and Evan Roth of Graffiti Research Lab.
Included in the largely monochromatic program are three large walls he painted himself that he says were inspired by local traditional patterns. Here are his new walls and many of the walls created by the students, many who pose here with their work at a reception that was held at the end of the project.