Chapel Road, situated in the western suburb of Bandra, stands as one of the area's oldest streets, and is characterised by houses reflecting Goan architectural influences. This neighbourhood offers an authentic taste of Bandra's essence, with its walls featuring graffiti and murals, art galleries, and compelling narratives. Within the city's dynamic street art scene, one encounters a range of artistic expressions. Along with lively illustrations on each side, the art on display also encompass art shops, studios, cultural hubs and commissioned works that enhance public spaces; all of which unfold magnificently in this densely artistic area.
We're revisiting some of the great cultural and art establishments in Chapel Road that continue to play a part in the ever-evolving cultural heritage of Mumbai.
The Bollywood Art Project (BAP)
Genesis of BAP traces back to 2012. Then, the Bollywood Art Project (BAP) by artist Ranjit Dahiya was born out of a desire to celebrate the cinematic legacy of Bollywood. Dahiya, struck by the relative absence of Bollywood's iconic imagery, sought to immortalise legendary actors and characters on the walls of Chapel Road. This urban art project is a visual chronicle of Bollywood's illustrious century-long journey. Larger-than-life murals of luminaries like Dev Anand, Madhubala, Amitabh Bachchan, and even the infamous Mogambo adorn the walls, as visual reminders and tributes to the city's cinematic heritage.
Inspired by the Fluxus movement, Fluxus Chapel is a dynamic community space in Mumbai. A collective effort led by artists such as Himanshu S., Jai ‘Zaiu’ Ranjit, Neil Ghose Balser, and others, the space serves as a hub for creativity, learning, and interaction. It hosts an array of workshops, screenings, and sessions, fostering a vibrant artistic ecosystem. Fluxus Chapel boasts a library that supports the Dharavi Art Room through book rentals. It is an inclusive platform, where art transcends elitism, offering a range of affordable art forms, from zines to illustrations; ensuring a genuine and immersive experience for all.
True to its Italian name, Adagio invites visitors to experience art and culture at a leisurely pace, in contrast to the regular digital frenzy we've become acustomed to. This cultural hub emphasizes an analogue approach, offering guitar lessons, yoga classes, co-working spaces, and more. It houses a guitar boutique, carefully curated to cater to music enthusiasts. Beyond music, Adagio extends its embrace to comics, providing a platform for budding and seasoned comedians. With an array of events, from vinyl listening sessions to movie screenings, Adagio is a cultural oasis in this bustling suburb of Bandra.
Art and Charlie
Art and Charlie, established in 2019, embarked on a mission to democratise art appreciation. The gallery transforms a heritage bungalow in Pali Village into a cultural haven. It blends an art gallery, performance venue, gift shop, and even a Subko Mini, aiming to make art more accessible to the common man. The gallery's unique identity, coined from 'Charles' and 'Karl', symbolizes an effort to bridge the gap between elitist and common experiences. By opening its doors to every 'Charlie', Art and Charlie redefines the art gallery experience, embracing a wider audience.
Method Bandra, established in 2019, reimagines the gallery experience. It marries art with a café-esque layout, providing an immersive environment. Visitors can enjoy specialty coffees, and confectioneries, and even purchase exclusive cocktail enhancers and Ikat masks. Beyond the Gallery, Method's curated shows, including non-commercial digital explorations, challenge conventional notions of art. This innovative approach blends commerce with creativity, offering a unique perspective on contemporary art.
Bombay Art Society
Legacy of the Bombay Art Society goes back to 1888, as the Bombay Art Society is among the oldest art institutions in the Asian subcontinent. It stands as a beacon of support for independent artists, providing exhibition spaces, painting classes, and a platform to showcase their talents. The Art Complex, inaugurated in 2016, encompasses three galleries, an amphitheater, a library, and an art shop in Bandra Reclamation.
Caché, located in the affluent area of Bandra West, is a space where craftsmanship meets artistry. It showcases a diverse range of creations, from ceramics to sculptures, garments to leather, and more. Spanning 500 square feet, it offers a curated selection of high-quality items. Caché celebrates the convergence of fine and functional arts. Showcasing a diverse range of crafts, it serves as a platform for artisans to exhibit their finest creations. With a commitment to quality and aesthetics, Caché has earned a reputation for attracting discerning exhibitors and art enthusiasts alike.
Established in 2003, the Serigraph Studio focuses on publishing contemporary Indian art prints, particularly 'serigraphs'. This venture was born out of a desire to offer collectors an alternative to singular, original works and makes fine art accessible through limited edition prints. Serigraphs, alongside other fine art prints, are revered as multiple original works of art, distinguishing them from photo-mechanically reproduced prints. The studio collaborates with artists to produce signed, limited editions, ensuring each piece is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.
These artistic spaces collectively form the dynamic cultural fabric of Chapel Road, Bandra, offering a memorable and enriching experience for art lovers and enthusiasts alike.
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