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Astronaut|NeverCrew|© Ankita Siddiqui
Astronaut|NeverCrew|© Ankita Siddiqui
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ST+Art Delhi 2016: All The World's A Canvas

Picture of ankita-siddiqui
Updated: 14 March 2016
It would not be wrong to say that what was hitherto labelled vandalism has today been christened ‘street art’, a display of  relevant issues infused with aesthetic values in open spaces. Graffiti – an art form born of  uprising in the streets, has a history of its own. Gangs with spray cans took to expressing their discontent with the social environment in the early 1920s and 1930s.  Chaos ruled in colours on trains, walls, alleys and graffiti was officially an illegal activity. The Kilroy Graffiti of World War II is one of the first cited examples of ‘Art Provocation’, as it was termed.  Then came the Berlin Wall, the largest canvas in the world with works of artists who took to streets to voice their opinion. Long overdue, street art and the celebration of graffiti has finally ‘arrived’ in India, and how!

 

St+Art India Foundation held its second international festival in Delhi – named WIP-The Street Art Show – from December 15 to February 16, at the ICD (Inland Container Depot), Tughlakabad, in collaboration with CONCOR (Container Corporation of India).  This is Asia’s largest dry port where 10,000 employees are busy loading and unloading shipping containers daily.

Artists from all over the world have toiled for hours using over 1000 litres of paint (Asian Paints) to create larger than life installations; an unconventional art gallery which everyone could have access to, unlike exhibitions, which cater to the economic elite.  Having been completed, over 100 shipping containers with art in the form of murals, stencil graffiti, sticker art, and wheat pasted posters would come alive across Indian highways, as they transported goods all across the nation. We let the visuals do the talking, introducing you to their hidden world of symbolism.

EXHIBITS AT THE WIP – STREET ART SHOW, NEW DELHI

 

Artist : NeverCrew (Switzerland)

Theme : See Through/See Beyond

As you enter, an Astronaut greets you.  He is gazing across time and space connecting the present moment with eternity.  He invites you to begin the exploration in your own way.

Astronaut|NeverCrew|© Ankita Siddiqui

Astronaut|NeverCrew|© Ankita Siddiqui

 

Artist : Reko Rennie (Australia)

Theme : Original Aboriginal

The maze of traditional geometric pattern used by the artist represents his community of the Kamilaroi People.  His aim is to provoke people, creating awareness for preservation of indigenous culture and identity in a contemporary urban environment.

Original Aboriginal |Street Art|© Ankita Siddiqui

Original Aboriginal |Street Art|© Ankita Siddiqui

 

Artist : Niels Shoe Meulman (Netherland)

Theme : Abstract Vandalism

Niels Shoe Meulman, or ‘SHOE’, is an internationally renowned legend in street art.  His work on site is a culmination of his 35 years of experience. He is well known for his ‘Calligraffiti’ style which infuses calligraphy and graffiti. He is a writer and has written his own poems as displayed on the containers. What is most interesting is the use of Indian brooms, a common sight in every household, to create one of his abstract layers of art.

Shoe|©Ankita Siddiqui

Shoe|©Ankita Siddiqui

 

Artist : InkbrushMe (India)

Theme : Matruka

‘Matruka’ is a Sanskrit word for Mother Goddess.  For centuries the feminine has been overshadowed by masculine.  InkbrushMe represents Brahmini,Vaishnavi and Shakti riding ‘Yali’, a mythical creature.  Her supreme presence is overpowering for onlookers, who stand in complete awe of her.

Matruka |Inbrushme |© Naman Saraiya

Matruka |Inbrushme |© Naman Saraiya

Artist : Harsh Raman (India)

Theme : Temple of Graffiti

When we talk about India, any ceremony is incomplete without blessings of a Sadhu Baba.  As the Inland Container Depot is the temple for the Street Art and Graffiti, the Sadhu here has been created, in deep meditation and showering his love on the artists as they take on their new venture and challenges.

Sadhu|Harsh Raman|© Ankita Siddiqui

Sadhu|Harsh Raman|© Ankita Siddiqui

Artist : Daku (India)

Theme : Breathe

The special black ink ( an innovation by the IIT students of Delhi ) used to create this graffiti is made from PM 2.5 particles causing air pollution.  It is to bring us to the shocking fact that we are living in Delhi, one of the most polluted city in the world.

Daku|© Ankita Siddiqui

Daku|© Ankita Siddiqui

Artist : Anpu (India)

Theme : Fruits of Childhood

The child represents each one of us.  We all are works of art of a magnificent creator, in continuous evolution, a theme which is in sync with WIP (Work In Progress), the essence of the festival.

Child |Anpu|© Ankita Siddiqui

Child |Anpu|© Ankita Siddiqui

Artist : Dwa_Zeta (Poland)

Theme : Exotic Pictograms 

This piece makes clever use of aluminium foil, reflecting sunlight in various hues.  The distortion of images is created to challenge us to explore the unknown lying beyond one’s comfort zone.

DWA_ZETA|© Ankita Siddiqui

DWA_ZETA|© Ankita Siddiqui

 

Artist : Amitabh Kumar (India)

Theme : Bali

It screams out for attention. This image of a headless beast is a wake-up call to the reality of the huge mountain of landfill waste adjacent to the dry port, stagnating and dead.  The city continues to turn a blind eye to its existence.

AmitabKumar |© Gautum Bakshi

AmitabKumar |© Gautum Bakshi

 

Artist : Agostino Iacurci (Italy)

Theme : Cosmic Egg

What came first, the chicken or the egg? This question has intrigued us for centuries. The giant cosmic egg installation gives us the answer. An ancient and universal symbol, the egg gives form to chaos and from it hatches the sun (the golden yolk), leading to division of earth and sky and life.

AgostinoIacurci | © Shijo George

AgostinoIacurci | © Shijo George

 

Artist : Nafir (Iran)

Theme : House is Black

Nafir is an Iranian artist who tackles the sensitive and political issues of his country.  His Thousand Faces is a cry for the situation of women in his country, who are arrested by the government for their support of women’s liberation.   The portrait of Forugh Farrokhzad, a controversial modernist Iranian poet who led many women empowerment movements in Iran, ties in the historic and cultural background.

Nafir|© Ankita Siddiqui

Nafir|© Ankita Siddiqui

 

Artist : Borondo (Spain)

Theme : Mirage

Borondo’s work depicts a mirage of the Mysore Palace, in an unlikely space situated between a slum and a landfill. The juxtaposition is both beautiful and jarring.

Borondo |© Akshat Nauriyal

Borondo |© Akshat Nauriyal

 

Artist : Painter Shabbu (India)

Theme : Banana

Shabbu started his career painting Bollywood posters and fruit juice stalls.  He paid for his degree in Fine Arts through his earnings.  The ‘Banana’ container is painted in typical ‘sign painting style’ and would be used for shipping the fruit as the name suggests.

Painter Shabbu|© Naman Saraiya

Painter Shabbu|© Naman Saraiya

 

Artist Name : Chifumi (France)

Theme : Mudra

This French artist has painted an Indian ‘Mudra’ in blue and red.  Hand gestures and expressions are his forte. He strives to bridge gap between western and eastern cultures.

Chifumi |© Ankita Siddiqui

Chifumi |© Ankita Siddiqui

 

Artist : Hendrik Beikirch ECB (Germany)

Theme :  There is nowhere to go but everywhere

Here sits a large portrait of a ragpicker/truck driver on a defunct cement factory adjacent to the landfill and Inland Container Depot.  A reflection of an average Indian who goes about his daily mundane activities is lost in a sea of human faces.

Hendrik |© Akshat Nauriyal

Hendrik |© Akshat Nauriyal

 

Artist : Senkoe (Mexico)

Theme : Omnia Videns

This artist draws his inspiration from nature. To quote Senkoe, ‘The man sits holding his face, looking out at the perpetual turmoil of life and the ever transient world.  However, he knows the ultimate truth that peace lies only within. ‘Omnia Videns‘ means Seeing Everything.’

Senkoe at Work |© Ankita Siddiqui

Senkoe at Work |© Ankita Siddiqui

 

Artist : Gaia (USA)

Gaia is a rising star and his name is derived from the Greek designation ‘Earth Goddess’.  His work The Alto is a representation of the Indian middle class.

Indian Alto by Gaia|© Ankita Siddiqui

Indian Alto by Gaia|© Ankita Siddiqui

 

Artist : Lek & Sowat (France)

Theme : Going Bananas

The yellow colour, a sort of hieroglyphic text (sacred writing ) dominates the dramatic composition.

Lek_Sowat|©Akshat Nauriyal

Lek_Sowat|©Akshat Nauriyal


The revolution has begun and is gaining momentum.  The Lodhi Art District is the next stop.  Several walls between Meharchand Market and Khanna Market have become a treat for the senses.  Welcome to the first ever Public Art District of India.

 

By Ankita Siddiqui