August 31, 2021

Russia Tire-d of Folk Art


Russia Tire-d of Folk Art
Tire Art in Comrat, Moldova. Photograph by Haley Bader

Fans of the former Soviet Union may recognize something iconic in the tire swan: a tradition in many a small town, the art form of turning tires into animals has long roots. However, at the beginning of July, the Russian government banned the decorations in the attempt to beautify residential areas. While such measures have been enacted in various Russian regions, this move formalizes the policy.

The Russian online publication Meduza reported a fantastic piece with images of many a lawn swan and his brethren. “Cult objects that have long become one of the symbols of Russian urban everyday life,” the rubber art is appreciated in some circles as a form of “folk art.” Practitioners have explained that they view it as means to beautify their communities and make children happy.

You won’t just see bevies of swan - the sculptures come in elephant, heron, cat, swan, motorcycle, and other forms. They are popular across the country, and some pieces have even reached Internet fame. In cities like Kalyazin, a person must pay 100 rubles to the owners of an art garden several hundred square meters in size in order to take a photo.

While some lack appreciation for art made from trash, there is something to be said about creatively disposing of rubbish. Tires are huge and release dangerous chemicals into the soil and air when decomposing. Why not tackle rot with art?

 

 

You Might Also Like

Russian Lacquer Miniatures: A Mythic Art
  • November 01, 2001

Russian Lacquer Miniatures: A Mythic Art

Russian lacquered miniatures came to fruition in the Soviet era--skilled icon painters' adaptation of a centuries-old art to new, secular reality. Collector and expert Cherry Gilchrist offers a fascinating look at the history of this art form, plus offers useful tips on how to buy top-quality miniatures.
Their Lives for Their Art
  • November 01, 2007

Their Lives for Their Art

In several small craft villages surrounding the capital, artisans struggle against the pressures of capitalism and the legacy of gigantism to preserve both their art and their way of life.
Malevich's Ukrainian Square
  • September 01, 2016

Malevich's Ukrainian Square

A century-old work of art by an avant-garde artist has become a symbol for the growing rift between Russia and Ukraine, just as more is being learned about its famous artist.
Mysterious Folk Art
  • March 01, 2014

Mysterious Folk Art

These strange, paddle-shaped boards, painted with lively folk motifs, had both practical and symbolic significance in village life.
Golden Khokhloma
  • June 03, 2000

Golden Khokhloma

Unique and enchanting folk art from the region of Transvolga.
Olga's Amazing Work of Art
  • November 14, 2018

Olga's Amazing Work of Art

Olga Ezova-Denisova explains in words and pictures the complex process behind making her special bear linocut prints for our New Russian Life project.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
At the Circus (bilingual)

At the Circus (bilingual)

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Bilingual series of short, lesser known, but highly significant works that show the traditional view of Dostoyevsky as a dour, intense, philosophical writer to be unnecessarily one-sided. 
Steppe / Степь (bilingual)

Steppe / Степь (bilingual)

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955