Osokorky Metro Street Art, Kyiv

For this Metro Monday post we headed out to see the new Osokorky Metro street art. Street art in Kyiv has exploded over recent years and there are huge pieces all over, both in the city centre and in the suburbs. At the end of 2018, Osokorky Metro Station was decorated in cool street art pieces.

If you are interested in street art, we planned a self-guided walk past some great pieces and included stops at some craft beer pubs.

Read Craft Beer and Street art in Kyiv

Osokorky Metro Station in Kyiv has recently been decorated with eight pieces of street art depicting current affairs in Ukraine. It's well worth visiting #streetart #Kyiv #Kiev #Ukraine

Osokorky Metro Station

Osokorky Metro Station is on the green line, on the left bank of the Dnipro river. However, since it’s 8 UAH to travel anywhere on the Kyiv metro, it’s a quick and easy ride out there. The green line was the third metro line to be built on the Kyiv metro system, and work started in the 1980s. This line includes the stunning Zoloti Vorota metro station.

Osokorky Metro Station was opened in 1992 and is the second station on the other side of the river. Interestingly, when the bridge was built to carry the metro track over the river, it was supposed to be covered. However, the cover turned out to not keep out the extreme weather in winter, so it was removed. This was actually a benefit in our opinion, because you can see across the river and over the islands when you travel over the bridge.

Osokorky Metro Street Art

Osokorky Metro Station used to be pretty normal looking, with a domed ceiling and tracks each side. Then, back in October, work began on a new street art project. Called ‘More than Us‘, the work is made up of 8 individual murals painted by different international artists. The pieces represent current affairs in Ukraine.

Osokorky metro street art Kiev Osokorky Metro Station Kyiv

Autonomy‘ by Costa Rican artist Mata Ruda shows a Crimean women in national dress and represents the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

Osokorky metro street art Kiev Osokorky Metro Station Kyiv

Motherland‘ by Spanish artist Kraser shows Ukrainian wildlife along with a couple of the country’s landmarks, including the air traffic control tower from Donetsk airport which has been destroyed by the conflict there.

Osokorky metro street art Kiev Osokorky Metro Station Kyiv
Osokorky metro street art Kiev Osokorky Metro Station Kyiv

United‘ by Swiss artist Issam Rezgui is a picture of Ukrainian actor Bohdan Stupka in front of the Donesk skyline. Bohdan Stupka also worked as Minister for Cutlure and Arts in Ukraine.

Osokorky metro street art Kiev Osokorky Metro Station Kyiv

In ‘Unfinished‘ by BKFoxx from the USA, a woman is sewing a cloth. The whole piece seems to be made up of mosiac tiles in the colours of the Ukrainian flag – blue and yellow.

Osokorky metro street art Kiev Osokorky Metro Station Kyiv
Osokorky metro street art Kiev Osokorky Metro Station Kyiv

Samotkana‘ by the Ukrainian artist from the group, Alexander Britsev, shows a woman knitting a rug in the shape of the map of Ukraine, while a ginger cat looks on.

Osokorky metro street art Kiev Osokorky Metro Station Kyiv
Osokorky metro street art Kiev Osokorky Metro Station Kyiv
Osokorky metro street art Kiev Osokorky Metro Station Kyiv

Brazilian artist Apollo Torres painted the piece ‘Universal Language‘ with a group of musicians playing outside a Soviet-style apartment building. Note the girl playing the piano with the date 20-02-14 on it. This was the day in the Maidan protests when snipers shot protestors, leading to the revolution and the overthrow of the government.

During the Maidan protests, a piano was dragged onto the streets and painted in blue and yellow. This painting shows music student Antuanetta Mischchenko who played the piano every day during the protests.

The Maidan piano and its players have been made into a short film: Piano.

Now you can see pianos in the streets around Kyiv that anyone is free to play. Pianists are often playing them for money.

Read Related post: Visiting Mezhyhirya Residence, the opulent home of ex-President Yanokovich to find out more about the 2014 revolution in Ukraine.

Osokorky metro street art Kiev Osokorky Metro Station Kyiv

Avdeyevka‘ by Matthew Down from Belgium shows a black and white backdrop of what looks like a Ukrainian village with childish drawings on it in pink. Apparently, Avdeyevka is a city on the front line of the war in Donetsk region between Ukrainian fighters and separatists. The piece depicts the real Avdeyevka covered with what a local child dreams of there.

Osokorky metro street art Kiev Osokorky Metro Station Kyiv

Finally, ‘Knowledge is a treasure‘ by Spear from Belgium is of teacher Volodymyr Dolos, who fought on the front line in the East of the country and injured a leg. Unable to get up, he lay in the forest for five days until he was found.

The whole project of Osokorky metro station street art took until late December to finish, with the artists working at night. It apparently cost 3.65 million UAH and has received mixed reviews. Some people have said that the eight different pieces are too different and it doesn’t fit together, while others have said that the metro station is the wrong place for street art.

Osokorky metro street art Kiev Osokorky Metro Station Kyiv

We think it looks great. It’s really cool to see as you come in on the metro and lots of people were just sitting on the platform looking at the pieces. It does seem an odd location for it, far from the city. The project managers said that it was the shape of Osokorky metro station that lent itself to street art.

We wondered if they had chosen it to attract people to the area, so we went out of the station to see what was there. It’s a typical Kyiv suburb full of Soviet style tower blocks and wide main roads. There’s not much to see, but if you want to contrast the centre of the city with what most of it is like, go out and see the area and the Osokorky metro street art.

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5 Responses

  1. Great artwork. I’m a huge street art fan but I have to admit I’m in two minds about the decision to paint in the metro stations. I don’t know Osokorky Metro station but I’m guessing it’s not as ornate as some of the others? At least I’m hoping it’s not! Presumably, that’s one of the reasons a station out in the suburbs was chosen. And testing the waters too, I suppose, as I know there’s been a bit of controversy surrounding street art in the Kyiv metro. That said, I’ll be heading there when we’re next in town!

    • KateandKris says:

      Yeah, it’s one of the new ones out on the other side of the river, and was pretty utilitarian looking before. I’d have more to say if they tried changing some of the stunning ones in the city centre of course! Let us know when you are next in town and we’ll have a beer

  2. Esther says:

    OMG! That’s awesome. I love street art and would be so psyched to see street art in an Underground station!
    #FeetDOTravel

  3. Sharon says:

    These are awesome! I especially like the bright colors of the woman sewing. I say why not use the metro station as an art gallery. I think the different styles and all the vibrant color would bring cheer to people.

  4. Emse says:

    Street art seems to be everywhere these days; you found some great pieces! I would think more metro stations would use it; looks way better than the alternative would. Love your photos.

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