Late Monday afternoon and Mixmag is waiting for Philipp Gorbachev in front of one of the looming Seven Sisters, the Gotham City-esque Soviet buildings that punctuate Moscow’s major ring road. Muscovites – a smart and cosmopolitan bunch – are streaming by in the afternoon sunshine, dwarfed by the Stalin-era building yet blithely unaware of it, just as they’re oblivious to the elderly lady in a babushka begging for money on the steps of an adjacent subway station.
Clad in a bright orange jumpsuit and shades, a series of severe lines etched into his tightly-cropped hair, Philipp is pretty easy to spot even amid the rush-hour chaos. He strides forwards confidently and points at the vertiginous building behind us. “This is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he smiles. “I would have been working here if I hadn’t become an artist.”
Turns out he’s not joking. Raised in a fairly affluent family in the Moscow suburbs (his father was a famous racing car driver), Philipp attended Moscow State University to train as an ambassador and diplomat. Something along the way, though, derailed his civil career and led him to become this orange-clad outlier instead.
Check out the rest of Philipp Gorbachev’s tour of Moscow over at Mixmag.