Russian artist Evgeny Ches makes illusions of animals and dinosaurs smack dab in the middle of the forest, giving unsuspecting hikers a pleasant surprise.
The technique Evgeny works with is called ‘CelloGraffiti’. It involves wrapping cellophane around two objects, such as telephone poles or trees, turning the plastic material into a giant canvas. He then spends hours spray-painting realistic images of creatures, like a polar bear, a rat, a monkey, and even a Velociraptor.
Speaking to HuffPost, the Moscow-based creative explained that he sets his artworks in the woods to show that street art can be found anywhere – even if it’s not literally on a city street.
“The contrast seems very interesting to me when street art moves to [the] natural environment.”
Best of all, Evgeny eventually takes down all his murals in order to avoid leaving behind waste.
We recently spoke to Evgeny to learn more about him and his art.
Please tell us more about yourself. How did you become an artist? Did you attend art school or are you self-taught?
“Hello, my name is Evgeny Ches, and I’m from Moscow. I started painting when I was young, and when I got older, I discovered hip-hop culture, which shifted my interest in art to graffiti.
“I never went to art school. I studied in a technical university and I worked as an engineer for a few years. But I didn’t have a lot of time for my art, so for the last five to six I’ve been working for myself as an artist, making different projects about contemporary and urban art.”
How would you describe your style/work?
“I work in different styles. I paint graffiti typography with my friends. I paint commissioned artworks (nature, realism, pop art). I like to experiment ant try new surfaces. I started to paint ‘CelloGraffiti’ because it was something new for me and made me interested.
“I saw it on the internet: two guys from France painted their graffiti on the plastic wrap in the city. I immediately came up with the idea of painting my graffiti on plastic wrap – not in the city streets, but in nature.
“I thought that it could make for an interesting photo, where urban art style will be in harmony with natural landscapes. A couple of years ago in Lake Seliger, I decided not to paint my usual graffiti style, but rather, some animal. I chose a squirrel.
“It turned out cool and many liked the result. By itself, simple animals are more understandable to a spectator who is not interested in graffiti.
“Eventually I drew a polar bear, a dinosaur from the movie Jurassic World, and a rat, which I drew no longer in nature but at the design factory ‘Flacon’. I wanted to do something from this series that’s closer to people, that they could see it live.”
How difficult is it to spray-paint realistic characters on plastic wrap? How long does each painting usually take to finish?
“This is a bit more complicated than on a wall because the surface is specific and sometimes it moves from the wind and has a special structure.
“Another difficult feature is that I keep a transparent background in my drawings, and when I paint I can’t make a mistake because I can’t fix it.
“The process of drawing takes me about two to three hours.”
How exactly have people reacted upon seeing your work?
“Everyone likes it very much. In the beginning, everyone saw the paintings mainly on the internet, as the works were painted in places where people do not walk at all.
“A month ago, my work was published on a popular publication. Many wrote that I litter the forests with plastic, to which I was very surprised.
“To reassure everyone, I remove the plastic film after a while. Also to be blunt about it, if all these people had the same enthusiasm about cleaning their surroundings, the world would be much cleaner.”
Which creature do you plan on making next?
“I already have plans for my next painting, but it’ll be a surprise. You can check out my social media pages to see it first.”