Danila Shmelev, alias Shozy, is a brilliant Moscow, Russia-based street artist who specialises in hyperrealistic optical illusions that grab the viewer’s mind.
Danila, who was born and raised in Moscow, was initially exposed to graffiti street culture in the early 2000s. With a remarkable flair for sketching and painting, he spent four years at the MHIP (Moscow Institute of Art & Industry), while also attending seminars with well-known Russian painters. Shozy’s main love remains graffiti, and since 2010, he has been developing his distinctive style of street art, which has earned him international fame and the opportunity to tour the world to demonstrate his ability.
His trompe l’oeil creations look so lifelike that it’s difficult to believe they’re really graffiti, from three-dimensional human hands seemingly tearing through plastic foil to phoney tears in walls.
Shozy’s “plastic series” has its origins in his work on canvas. These pieces portray canvases wrapped in a protective film that has been torn in various places and are executed in a continuum of dark greys, achieving a striking plastic effect. Interestingly, they are down using only cans of spray paint.
Last year, Shozy went viral in Russia, after photos of one of his latest creations spread on social media. Entitled “Conversation” and painted on the side of an apartment building in Derbent, Russia, it depicted the tea serving tradition of Derbent in stunning realism.
“My mural is about two people meeting and a leisurely conversation over a glass of tea. About what we all lack so much in megalopolises – the regularity of life,” Danila said about his artwork.
For more awesome street art, check out the graffiti masterpieces of Fabio Gomes Trindade and the reality-bending creations of Carlos Alberto GH.
For more of Shozy and his hyperrealistic street art, follow his Instagram.