Their prolific graffiti interventions on myriad incongruous surfaces around their home city quickly made TOY popular. Expanding on the concept of tagging, they often play humorously with the name of their collective, tracking its presence in everyday language. In street art circles, the word “toy” refers to someone who can’t paint, an idea the artists consciously reinforce by employing a childish and unsophisticated style. For the Triennial, TOY have opted for a different type of auto-biographical tag and created a large sculpture made of a truck tire. Entitled Flowerbed, the work consists of large lorry tire, inside of which two small birches are planted. These symbolize the two members of the collective, while also referring to the Russian saying which identifies the act of planting a tree as one of the most important goals in a man’s life. At once poetic and brutal, the object references the popular home-made plant pots which can be found in the gardens of dachas (country houses) in Russia. In a nod to both the rustic and graffiti traditions, TOY have painted the tire with a pattern that comprising the initials of their first names (E for Egor and S for Seva).
TOY is an anonymous duo from Nizhny Novgorod, established in 2012. In 2015 they took part in a residency at the Museum of Street Art, St. Petersburg. Group exhibitions include: What is Good and What is Bad?, Tolk Gallery, Nizhny Novgorod (2015); Street Romantics, Nagornaya Gallery, Moscow (2015); and Remember Tomorrow, Museum of Street Art, St. Petersburg (2015).