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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*Daku photos thanks to St+Art Delhi