India's Street Art Game

This is what we're loving right now on the streets of India so we called it India's Street Art Game. But if you like, you can call it by it's good name...'Garam Masala'!



Public Art in the sense that we know it, is a fairly new horizon for India; Delhi hosted it’s first street art festival this year, introducing residents to the work of 60 international and local artists. India’s street sensibilities are morphing beyond sign painting and colorful wall tributes to the gods – we’re seeing more mixed media work and social/political street art cropping up.  Sensing India’s throwing it’s colorful hat in the ring, we didn’t want to pull a Van Gogh Boat.

We’re paying attention to India’s street art game, here’s a sampling of what/who we’re loving now…

The Bollywood Art Project, founded by Ranjit Dahiya, is an urban public art project based in Mumbai that pays tribute to the greatest legends of Bollywood with street art in the style and tradition of hand painted Bollywood posters.

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Nadira mural by Bollywood Art Project (B.A.P.) for @startdelhi

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Bollywood Art Project (B.A.P.)


StartDelhi  – co founders Hanif Kureshi and Arjun Bahl – you want to watch these guys – invited 60 international and local artists to take part in India’s first Street Art Festival in the South Delhi neighborhood of Shahpur Jat.  Curated by Giulia Ambrogi, StartDelhi worked with community outreach programs, art school students, professionals and cultural institutions for a year and a half to make the festival happen.

Head on over to the StartDelhi website to read their blog, containing funny if not head-splitting tales of the trials and tribulations that went into making StartDelhi happen.

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Artez. St.ART Delhi 2014 (photo © Akshat Nauriyal)

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Artist Kool Tones for @startdelhi


Harsh Raman – our first encounter with street artist and illustrator Harsh Raman’s work was through the murals he painted during the Start Delhi festival. Then we stumbled onto Instagram photos of his amazing mixed media piece celebrating an iconic scene from the classic Bollywood movie, Shree420 – that half umbrella and florescent rain spatter so reminiscent of the romanticism that’s associated with rain in Bollywood films touched us.


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Mural in Shahpur Jat by artist @harshraman. Nabbed from @shrutimaheshwari12


Harsh working on Metamorphosis for the StartDelhi Fest.


Harash Raman trying to finish his project in the rain…Photo: Karan Talwar


MOVIE ‘SHREE 420’ INSPIRES STREET ART Digging this installation inspired by the Classic Bollywood Film, Shree 420 by artist @hareshraman.


Tihar Jail Project – sprawled across the boundary  wall of the Tihar Jail are lines from poem written by one of Tihar’s female inmates.  The poem, a bittersweet message of being separated from ones love was written in Devanagari script, interspersed at sections with graffiti. With the combined help street artists and sign painters, this registers as India’s longest mural.

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Hand painted type along Tihar Jail.

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DAKU – means bandit…and this one commonly get referred to as the Indian Banksy.  The well-known graffiti artist started tagging in Delhi around 2009 – since then Daku has continued to make a name for himself through his socio-political wheat pastes and the complexities of his ever morphing tag.


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Daku’s controversial Election Day wheat paste-ups


The script literally reads ‘fuck’.


His street paste up mocking the Louis Vuitton logo at the corner of the urban village of Khirkee Extension.


Daku’s sign takeover from his series Stop (Okhla, New Delhi)


Anonymous – For now.  I’m open to anyone cluing us in to who the artists of these last two pieces are. We nabbed them off of Instagram, sadly not even the posters knew who did these amazing pieces.


BOOM! Love this. Still trying to figure out who did this. But I’m guessing you’d better not mess with the modern Indian woman. Regram from @bombaynotmumbai

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Bazaar Road, Bandra. Nabbed from @payfonejones


*Daku photos thanks to St+Art Delhi 

Additional Resources

Graffiti In India

Brooklyn Street Art

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  1. The BOOM woman is by Jas Charanjiva and the triple optics one is by Rock.

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