I love graffiti.
No wait, let me explain- I LOVE graffiti, street art and the urban culture that goes with it. I love it when the colours EXPLODE in your face, the smell of paint and the hiss of spray cans gets my heart beating faster.
I remember the street art movement starting in Delhi back in 2010, a lot of graffiti artists from around the world came to the city and even the Indian artists began to show up more on walls.
In a culture that gives so much importance to colour and decoration, we somehow managed to avoid the graffiti movement for a long time.
When the St+Art foundation offered a curated walk to check out the street art in Delhi, I quickly signed up. The walk began on Sunday at 9:30am in Connaught Place. The last of Raahgiri was wrapping up. The first wall we saw was in the Outer Circle itself.
Rukitt, an artist from Thailand, was fascinated by the number of birds Delhi had despite being such a large city. He also put his background as a graphic designer to good work.
This was painted all over one side of a cold storage in Azadpur Mandi. Axel Void spent his few days here playing chess and chatting with the people here. He painted in a Renaissance style, with the fruit, vegetables, knife and the candle signify both how short life is and death. (P.S. Axel Void initially wanted to paint a giant dead chicken!)
At ITO, you can see the large Gandhi mural painted on one side of the Delhi Police Headquarters. What I found amazing was that the main artist only can down from the painting once a day- to check it from a distance. Our guide mentioned that some artists tend to get lost in their work and paint like maniacs, finishing large walls in just a day or two!
At Khan Market, the artwork is titled ‘Day and Night. You and You’. Okuda focused on the opposing elements he saw in India, how poverty and affluence existed side by side, good and bad, night and day, colour and darkness- The concept of yin and yang.
This mural takes up a large wall in Lodhi Colony near Meherchand market. It is easily recognisable- Rani Lakshmi Bai, riding into battle. Lady Aiko from Japan usually portrays powerful and provocative women. When she was told about Rani Lakshmi Bai, she fell in love with her. It took a team of 15 volunteers over 15 days to cut stencils, place them on the walls and fill them in.
Then we moved through Shahpur Jat which had an entire collection by itself!
And then finally to HAUZ KHAS VILLAGE where it all began.
Finally, we went back to the office for lunch and conversation.
The next edition of St+Art is just around the corner!
We even got cool goodies like this new sticker by DAKU that I’ve added to my laptop, a high quality photobook of the art and a St+Art carry bag.
You up for the next?
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.