Follow of the week: discover Rothko on Moscow’s streets

Follow of the week: discover Rothko on Moscow's streets

6 March 2017

Love hate relationship #tadjikrothko #таджикротко

A post shared by Tadjik Rothko (@tadjikrotko) on

A new Instagram account is documenting Moscow’s walls — in particular the city government’s attempts at covering-up graffiti. @tadjikrotko posts photos of walls and fences painted over with different colours, resembling the abstact forms of Mark Rothko, the American 20th century artist of Russian Jewish descent.

The account’s name is a bit controversial: “Tajik Rothko” refers to the fact that migrant workers from Tajikistan are often the ones hired to carry out maintenance and cleaning jobs in Russian cities, and many of the creations featured on the Instagram account might have been created by Tajiks. The name evolved out of an existing hashtag that is widely used by Russian Instagrammers to praise these street compositions.

This is not the first time that people have drawn comparisons between the works of Mark Rothko and covered-up graffiti — just check out photographers like Daniel Ginns and Bert Danckaert.

What’s so brilliant about @tadjikrotko are the captions for each composition — ”Gentle sadness”, “November morning” or “With you Sunday never ends” — sometimes more poetic than the photos themselves.