Lifestyle Books and Art 14 Apr 2019 Street smart artists

Street smart artists

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SITARA SURESH NAIDU
Published Apr 14, 2019, 12:01 am IST
Updated Apr 14, 2019, 12:04 am IST
These anonymous city folks take great pride in sprucing up some walls across prominent local neighbourhoods.
Graffiti art by Seize in Jalahalli.
 Graffiti art by Seize in Jalahalli.

Recently namma ooru played host to a festival that saw several city-based street artists gathering for an event celebrating their work. Bengaluru, is home to a number of murals created by these graffiti artists. So, the next time you’re passing by Indiranagar, Lingarajapuram, Hennur, Cox town, Jalahalli and other locations, look out for these masterpieces.

We’ve all been gobsmacked at those beautiful art works that randomly pop up on abandoned buildings, rustic shutters and those boring walls we pass on our way to work every day. No it’s not a witch craft and of course it didn’t just magically appear. While on one side we have murals sponsored by the state and on the other, we have these connoisseurs of art with their raw talent for graffiti.

 

Graffiti is one of the most famous forms of street art that can be used to give character to a boring wall or an abandoned location. Zero, a graffiti artiste said, “Due to the metro railway line construction, several houses were half-way demolished and left in the lurch. I visit these places and felt the character it has.
Especially, the fact that a whole family once lived there in happiness, harmony and peace struck me hard and I wanted to reinstate that happiness through my art.  I initially started with regular rollers and water paints, but now, the spray cans are affordable. They range from Rs 150 to Rs 500 a can and you can paint about five murals with one spray can.”

These anonymous heroes do this only for their love for art and for a small pump of an adrenaline rush. Seize, a graffiti artiste said, “I do this for myself and of course for the risk and thrill of it. We’re superheroes with our quirky names and our weapons are the spray cans. I can also compare this form of art to martial arts; as we have to control our muscles and move along aligned and inclined to the art work in the making.”

Now, this might sound a bit sketchy to you that there’s nothing in it for them, they’re not becoming millionaires by doing this. The truth is, they are not funded by anyone Seize added, “I’ve been doing this from 2012 and I don’t depend on anyone to sponsor me, it’s just me and my art. I do get a few paid projects and that’s how I save up for my spray cans.  Of course this doesn’t suffice and that’s why I’m mostly broke. Since I do not promote anyone’s propaganda it’s just me and my love for letters”  

While the government on one hand considers graffiti as vandalism, some of these graffiti artists even seek permission to do pursue their art. Ullas, a graffiti artiste said, “Most of the times, we wait and get permission before we just randomly start. But yes at times these places don’t need that kind of permission because they’re abandoned.”

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