The cityscapes in India often represent the innumerable unsaid stories that each city withholds. In bringing forward the rollercoaster of emotions that this city life offers, creatives have come forward to challenge and bring to life public spaces that too, represent a story of their own.
India’s history with mural art or wall art dates all the way back in history when the Buddhist paintings on the interiors of the Ajanta caves were discovered. Since then, contemporary Indian muralists have ushered in fresh perspectives, ones that complement and amplify the pulse of the city.
We take a look at homegrown artists bringing these city walls to life through their creative explorations.
In his Instagram bio, Sawant declares that he draws bad shapes carefully and this statement roughly encompasses the artistic style of this Mumbai-based creative. From fish markets in Siolim to massive multi-city mural commissions for a Netflix film promotion across Tamil Nadu, Sawant truly is the emerging talent that is scaling walls and newer heights with distinct, pop-art styles.
A household name in the mural art space, Shilo’s style of art can be best described as divine and ethereal. With mythical and natural elements dominating her work, Shilo’s work offers a larger commentary on gender, religion, and even society. The artist’s murals often incorporate muted tones blended with shimmering shades and are often seen brightening up walls in old community spaces such as theatres, flower markets, and more.
III. Anpu Varkey
If you have ever crossed the bustling lanes of Mahim in Mumbai, you must have surely noticed the larger than life mural of a young girl hanging upside down from a building. Bengaluru-based Anpu Varkey’s work including ‘Dizzy’ explores the grandeur of human emotion. The artist has worked with larger festivals including the Shillong and Rishikesh Street Art Festivals.
Originally a signage painter from Gujarat, the artist goes by the street name Daku has established a firm standing in this emerging community of muralists in the country. Daku’s understanding of typography starkly stands out in most of his work that he uses to transform run-down public spaces and walls. Daku also shadows as a graffiti artist and his work transforming public signage and hoardings is also a representative of his voice as an artist.
This Bengaluru-based illustrator, muralistm and designer incorporates a pop of colour and Indianised prints into her murals. Neethi often explores the relationship communities have with inanimate objects around them in her murals and her latest mural at Ukkadam Art District was proof of that.
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