Delhi- Walls Tell The Best Stories

I resumed the mural hunt after brunch. 

The simple logo carries a powerful message. The central government initiated the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014 with the objective of a Clean India by 2019  and who else but Gandhi can be its inspiration. Apart from Ahimsa and Satyagraha, Gandhi was also a crusader for cleanliness and effective sanitation. His teachings and principles are more relevant in these times.

Father of the Nation, Artist: Kafeel, India

 

Now, what is over there?  There are birds everywhere. For a moment I thought I was seeing a poster of the classic Hitchcock movie  The Birds.

Order in Chaos:  DALeast, China

Are they flying in or out? Frenzy-Vertigo-The Birds

 

DALeast is well-known in the graffiti world.  The Lodhi Colony mural was inspired by his travels in India: There’s a chaos but inside it, there is an order. Those birds are the same as us, moving around all the time; if they stop they will crash… I’m one of the birds. 

Leaving the birds I walked into a tropical garden:  birds, butterflies, flowers, and plants enliven the empty street.

Mother: Blaise Joseph, India

The lady with the halo of flowers is the mother of the artist. A touching tribute!

The massive mural, inspired from the epic  Mahabharat, depicts the omniform of Lord Krishna.  Some of the human and animal forms look menacing!

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Viswaroopa: Inkbrushnme, India

Two women are talking, their faces etched with hope and strength:

From your strength, I weave beauty: Shilo Shiv Suleman, India

The artist Shilo Shiv Suleman leads the Fearless Collective which addresses gender-based issues. This collaborative artwork with Sewing New Futures shows two women from the marginalized section of the society. The older woman says, “Despite my hardships, I am blistering gold; this fog can no longer hold me back,”  “From your unfulfilled dreams, I  will weave a new world,” says the young girl.

The next wall shows a blue elephant with tusks growing into branches. Brilliant work!

Fusion Art: Rakesh Kumar Memrot, India

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The vibrant artwork is a tribute to the Gond tribal art practiced by the Gonds- the largest tribal community of central India. They decorate their houses with colorful paintings of flora, fauna, scenes from mythology, and everyday lives.

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Sparkling house sparrows- The State bird of Delhi

I like the bright colors and the way the artist has integrated the birds; they look almost lifelike.   Rakesh Kumar and his team of volunteers took three weeks to complete this stunning mural.

Two Kathakali dancers with their characteristic, colorful headgear are staring at you. Kathakali is the traditional dance form of Kerala; the artists in elaborate costumes convey stories through gestures and facial expressions.

Katha-Crazy Twins: Chiller Champa and Boom Bhaijaan: Harsh Raman, India

The wacky twins have many fans in the locality; they are favored for photo shoots also(Source: Three school kids at Lodhi Colony). The lively murals would be a great help for those who struggle to remember street /block numbers.   Block Kathakali, Crows, Elephant, Astronaut, Big Bird, Pink, etc sound cool and catchy.

From a distance, this wall looks the facade of a palace:

 

As you get near, the bright indigo blue lights up the entire wall.

Shekhawati painting: Mahendra Pawar, India

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The unique style of painting originated in the Shekhawati region in Rajasthan.  The St+art India Foundation has provided the right platform for the traditional artists to exhibit indigenous art forms.

The adjacent block walls look drab.  I  picture the artists creating colorful murals and disappearing. Like the birds.

Wandering the streets couldn’t have been more graffitifying!

 

Reference:

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/st-art-india

fearlesscollective.org

 

 

Delhi- Different Streets, Different Strokes

“How far is it?”

” You are almost there, walk straight ahead; you can’t miss it.” The autorickshaw driver pointed towards a tree-lined street flanked by blocks of buildings.

It is a bright sunny day in Delhi and I am going to see India’s first public art district at the Lodhi Colony. This ambitious project by the  St+art India Foundation, a non-profit organisation that works on art projects in public spaces kicked off in December 2015. The two- month long art festival had local and international street artists putting up murals and installations to popularise the concept of ‘Art for All.’   I came to know about it through a colleague who also suggested a curated walking tour. It would be interesting to have someone point out the nuances of the art to an ignoramus like me but I would rather wander on my own and explore.

Lodhi Colony is a government residential colony.  It is centrally located and the buildings present a wonderful facade.   Most of the artwork is seen over the walls between Khanna Market and Meherchand Market. There are no signposts;  one can walk around and spot the murals leisurely.

This wall with the bright colored birds by the Mexican artist Senkoe was dazzling.  Feathered friends seem to be a favorite subject for many street artists.  Having seen some of his other works I can now make out his signature style:

Title: Colors of the soul Artist: Senkoe, Mexico

Bursting with color and life

What does the purple heart say?

Right across is the mural by artist Suiko titled The Lotus.  I like the way the artists have made use of the archways and windows of the building.

Title: The Lotus Artist: Suiko, Japan

The next block has a lady on the wall:

Title: Don’t let this symbolism kill your heart    Artist: Nafir, Iran

Now I am looking up and see an astronaut sitting on top of a meteorite. The astronaut represents someone who can see the larger picture or look at things from a different perspective. Interesting!

Title: See through    Artists: Christian Rebecchi & Pablo Togni NEVERCREW,  Switzerland

Here is the  calligraffiti by the Dutch artist Neils Shoe Meulman:

Sans serifs no letters

and no words to read

sans words no signs

no names in the streets

just rows of buildings

and gardens sans weeds.

Untitled     Artist: Neil Shoe Meulman

From the painted poem  I walked over to the next wall which reminded of a classroom: happy children, birds, flowers, and fish.

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Moving further I see more blues and fish:

Untitled    Artists: Ishan, Tanya, Nandini, Sharmeen, Pranav, Nikunj, Deepak, and Sid.

Captivating art and a curious onlooker.

The sight of the blazing pink walls stopped me in my tracks.

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Title: Pink    Artists: Karolina Zajaczkowska&Stawek Zbiok Czajkowski DWA ZETA

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I could not understand the abstract art. The St+art site informs that the duo chose the colour to figuratively mark the feminine element in a public space. Empowering art!

Midway through the ‘art therapy’ hunger pangs forced me to take a break.

 

Reference:

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/st-art-india