August 02, 2023

Street Artist Detained at Moscow Airport


Street Artist Detained at Moscow Airport
Street artist Philippenzo standing in front of his oeuvre. Philippenzo, Instagram.

Street artist Philipp "Philippenzo" Kolzov was arrested at Moscow's Domodedovo airport for "disobedience" and sentenced to 15 days in prison by a local court. The painter is known for his anti-war murals.

The artist has expressed opposition to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in his work and has been persecuted for it. After painting the mural "Our Zinc," which features paintings of coffins, and posting the image to Instagram on Victory Day, he was fined. Volgograd courts also sentenced him three times for "discrediting the army" for his reposts of anti-war images.

On June 12, Russia Day, Philippenzo published a painting of a coat of arms and an inscription that read "Изроссилование" ("Exfoliation," which is uncomfortably close to the words россилованье - Russification, and изнасилование – rape) located under the Elektrozavodsky Bridge in Moscow. Shortly afterward, the police knocked on his door, and he soon decided to leave Russia.

Kolzov was returning from Georgia when FSB officers pulled him aside for questioning in the airport's passport control zone. The authorities asked him why he had left Russia and demanded access to his belongings. Kolzov refused, as he is allowed to do so by law. The FSB handed him over to the police, who took him to a detention center.

In an interview with Meduza before his arrest, the artist said that "Actual street art is always illegal."

 

 

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