Glorious Graffiti

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Street Art and Graffiti is having its moment under the sun across India and the coronavirus has in fact done nothing to dim its charm.

Public art can be such an intrinsic part of city life, it can invoke emotions and capture the essence of a city on a wall or surface. It is a token interaction that people from all walks of life can experience, it is truly making art accessible to all.

A few years ago, it was more of a novelty, now it is having its moment with increasing exposure and numerous pieces of public art coming up frequently across the country. Street art explores a variety of themes and allows the artist to interpret it in their own way. Street Art can increase the sense of ownership of locals in the area. Street art being the form of the people and made for everyday walkers on the street, is closely linked to the mindset of the people.

Seven Moderate Sins by Kiran Mahajan
Seven Moderate Sins by Kiran Mahajan

Most street art is done without permissions and that is part of the beauty of it. But initiatives by the government and private sector to further the form and present it in a more legitimate manner are being undertaken. A key issue is maintenance of street art as they tend to fade with time. Hence, they need to be retouched and that is something that does not always happen. Leemon Ravi, Chairman and Managing Director, Uthhan avers, “there are many challenges, but the foremost roadblock is the regulatory restriction to exhibit the art. Most of the artists are underpaid without a proper pay structure and institutional guidelines. There is no national or international recognition as well. Graffiti’s are considered a bane by the responsible bodies and the cost of raw materials also is skyrocketing. Revenue involved in this art is minuscule. The post-pandemic situation made it vulnerable and many artists are leaving their profession.” Street art gives a chance to people to reclaim their spaces, enhance it, and be proud of it as it gives an identity to communities and makes spaces livelier and more accessible.

Read the full story that first appeared in Vistara’s Sep-Oct 2021 issue here:

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