Many of us have already noticed the yellow leaves on the walls of Yerevan buildings, many have taken pictures with the leaves, and many have been photographed and shared on the social network. And the more people notice the yellow leaf, the more questions come up. Who, why, when and where?
Who paints the yellow leaf?
Artist Kostya August was born in Moscow. He has been working with graphics for many years. As he recalls after he left for Europe with his parents, he began to take an interest in this type of art.
The “presence of space” as he referred to it, is the direction of the art of the young artistic artist. The leaves are part of that art, and as he says, they are not separate images but particles of enormous work. Through the leaves, he tries to convey that feeling to those who have noticed the yellow leaf.
In October, Kostya August, who arrived in Armenia for a week, liked the nature of Armenia, especially the road to Lake Sevan. True, he has little contact with Armenians, but, according to him, we are a straightforward people, and he liked our livelihood and readiness to help.
“In different places throughout the centres of Yerevan, Jermuk and Sevan I paint the leaf. I was driving in a rented car. Along the way, I stood in beautiful places and painted. We reached the longest tramway but painting did not work because of the foggy weather. One time I went to a roof terrace to paint the leaf and even to the subway station that crosses the street,” the artist confessed. As to the question of why come to Armenia, he answered, “Tuff buildings, delicious food and mountainous landscapes, that’s why!”
Why a leaf?
Kostya August says that he started painting from classic graffiti, but he noticed that only those who do graffiti are paying attention to the images. Then he decided to paint something that everyone would pay attention to.
“I tried many different logos, birds, wolves, snails, but that was not what I wanted to see. And here in the spring, sitting in the tram, through the park, I noticed small leaves on the tree branches. I thought it was perfect with the penname of August. After trying a few versions, I settled on the shape you already see on the walls.”
August painted the first leaf in 2005 in Rostov-on-Don, on an old train that was no longer in use. It’s hard to tell how many leaves he’s painted to date. “Many people try to understand the meaning of the leaf. There was a time when I thought up different stories about the leaves. But it does not mean anything. It’s just my logo.”
According to the artist, the leaf is simple, easily recognizable and attractive. On the background of gloomy and polluted walls, the leaf stands out as a relief to the viewer.
“Drawing leaves is a way to be present on earth. A leaf does not mean anything, but all together they form “the presence of space”, concludes the artist.
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Photographers: Nina Shahverdyan, Arman Karakhanyan