It’s India’s first typographic art installation to represent the city – perfect for a city marching into a vibrant cultural reclamation. Public art is thriving like never before in India and the new symbol of Mumbai is giving us real Milton Glaser (designer of the I heart NY logo) vibes; turning the heart into an iconic feeling of love for a destination.
The artist, Rocky, a type designer, found his inspiration in the perfect symmetry of the Devanagari letter लव (LA). “The form of the letter लव ‘LA” in Devanagari is such that deliberately if you join two terminals together, it becomes a heart with a shirorekha (top line in Devanagari script) …this powerful icon cuts across demographics and language barriers…This public installation is a monument of love dedicated by the citizens of Mumbai to the city as a mark of their undying love for each other. Love Mumbai and Mumbai will always love you back.”*
Rocky had been playing around with versions of this fun Hinglish script for a while. In 2010, he styled this photoshoot, using the Devanagari letter लव (LA) to mirror the coy n’ playful way of how love is depicted in Indian cinema (you know, Bollywood).
He was finally able to translate this idea into a full scale installation for a collaboration with St+art India Foundation for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2016. It quickly became a media sensation prompting an online petition to make the installation a permanent part of the Mumbai landscape – a symbol to represent the city of Mumbai. Now the installation sits at its permanent home, at the Bandra Reclamation.
How does Rocky feel about having his work becoming a new symbol for Mumbai?
“… I did this for the sake of art rather than money. Like Picasso said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” This is my small contribution to beautify the city and I would be happy if my design makes people happy and puts a smile on their faces.”