Moscow Metro ►


Moscow Metro, October 2015

These are the Metro stations I captured during my visit to Moscow, where I had the honor to speak at the 2015 OFFF Festival. Dedicated with infinite thanks and gratitude to my gracious hosts, German Kuhtenkov, Anastasia Hlushko & Roksana Borovik. Мир, дружба, жвачка!

Mayakovskaya is one of the most beautiful and famous Metro stations in the world. During World War II, it served as an air raid shelter wherein Stalin took residence. The station features streamlined columns faced with stainless steel and pink rhodonite, white and grey marble walls, a flooring pattern of white and pink marble and 34 ceiling mosaics. The public trans in this town is no slouch.

The Belorusskaya Metro station features twelve octagonal mosaics depicting belarusian life in its ceiling; the floor is tiled to resemble a belarusian quilt. In February of 2001, a bomb was set off here during evening rush hour, injuring seven.

That moment when your Metro station is closed, you have to ride to the next, and exit the train to find this.

The Komsomolskaya station sits beneath Moscow's busiest transportation hub. It boasts a dramatic baroque ceiling and is lit by chandeliers, throughout. Little known FunFact™ for you etymology nerds: the term, ‘Komsomolskaya,’ is archaic Russian slang for ‘yellow as fuck.’

CCCP-era Cold War game: admittedly strong. ☭

This may come as a shock to some, but the Elektrozavodskaya Metro is named after a nearby electric light bulb factory.

The Pushkinskaya station is 249 days older than I am. Its central hall is lit by an endless row of 19th century chandeliers, the columns covered with koelga white marble and decorated with palm leaf reliefs because fuck your ugly subway station.

The Arbatskaya metro was built in 1953 to serve both as a bomb shelter and a Metro station, replacing an old station that was damaged by a german bomb attack in WWII. The main tunnel is an elliptical departure from the standard circular cross-section and features square pylons faced with red marble, and a vaulted ceiling embellished with floral reliefs & chandeliers.

Ploshchad Revolyutsii, opened in 1938, is named after Revolution Square, under which it is located. The station — one of the most famous of the Moscow Metro — features red and yellow marble arches, each of them flanked by a pair of bronze sculptures. As I waited for a decent shot, i watched countless locals touch the rooster held by the woman of the lefthand sculpture for luck. Pretty damn cute, Muscovites.

The central feature of the Taganskaya station is its 48 maiolica (Italian tin-glazed pottery) panels located on the face of each pylon. The panels facing the central hall are on a blue maiolica background while the platform hall panels are monochromatic. The lighting comes from 12 gilded chandeliers with the same blue majolica center. This one took my breath away.

Prospekt Mira was originally named after the botanical garden of nearby Moscow State University. Its pylons are faced with white marble and topped with ceramic bas-relief floral elements. The station walls are dark red marble, its chessboard floor pattern is made of grey & black granite and it boasts a vaulted ceiling lit by countless cylindrical chandeliers. Truth be told, the ambiance of this station feels better suited to a $50,000/plate political fundraising dinner than it does a subway train.

Only 5 ½ years old, the Dostoyevskaya station appears as though a real life portal. The scenes of homicide and suicide depicted on the station walls — an illustration of Dostoyevsky's ‘Crime and Punishment’ — caused an immediate online controversy. It seems that Russians, much like their American counterparts, will take to the internet to complain about anything, even references to literary treasures.

Kiyevskaya features low, square pylons faced with white marble, each surmounted by large mosaics celebrating Russo-Ukrainian unity. At the end of the platform is a portrait of Ronald Reagan … alright, just kidding, it's Lenin. (hey, they were both deeply flawed)

The ceiling of Aviamotornaya's central hallway houses the gaudiest sculpture the world has ever seen. It is made of anodized gold pyramids and tetrahedra. And it is blindingly insane.

Novoslobodskaya is best known for its 32 stained glass panels, each set into one of the station's pylons, illuminated from within and surrounded by an elaborate brass border. At the end of the platform is giant mosaic entitled ‘peace throughout the world.’

Maryina Roshcha is the northern terminus of the 20-year old Lyublinsko-Dmitrovskaya line. Upon exiting the train, its main hall lends the impression you've been led astray by a poorly-kerned jumble of cyrillic characters on faded signage, and accidentally stepped into a wormhole. As with so many other stations, it stops you in your tracks in its own, unique way.

With that, this is the end of the line not only for the Lyublinsko-Dmitrovskaya, but also for the stations of the Moscow Metro I set out to capture and share. Hope you've enjoyed.