I've seen you just once in the metro

Yelena Slukhayeva

Twelve months make a year.

Twelve lines in twelve colours make the Moscow Metro.

Every day thousands of people go down to its stations, take and leave the trains. They spend much time on the way (neither at home, nor at work, nor outdoors), and many of them close in their shells while underground. But an artists observant eye can catch peculiar appearances, discern complicated lives shielded behind and help put them on paper. Put together (7 vertical rows, each containing 6 characters) by months, lines and stations, they produce an impression of an endless flow moving chaotically though with certain regularity. Sometimes the countless faces in the moving flow seem to live a common life, but the next moment they again split up into individuals. They may be aggressive, calm or romantic towards each other, while the artist watches them and captures the precious moments.

How many people take the metro at the same moment? More than a person who takes the metro twice or three times a day can imagine. You can only see the passengers who are around. The artist can promptly pencil the images, slightly exaggerated or lyrical, stern and serious or smiling in their thoughts, relaxed or worried. But they all look self-absorbed, fenced off from the outer world. It takes a rich drawing experience for an artist to create an exact image of a person within a few minutes, to capture the features and visualize a certain character, emotions and psychological type. The artist must love people very much to portray their peculiar destinies with so much kindness and warmth.