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 November 9, 2013.   0 Comment
Justin Rozario is a 20-year-old student studying for his graduation in Kolkata. However, he is more of an artist than anything else. We speak to Justin Rozario, a graffiti artist in Kolkata, about his crew and their work.
Canning in Cal
© Justin Rozario

 

 

 

 

Kolkata and the Can

 

 


Justin Rozario is a 20-year-old student studying for his graduation in Kolkata. However, he is more of an artist than anything else.
 We speak to Justin Rozario, a graffiti artist in Kolkata, about his crew and their work.

Justin is a graffiti artist who tags his work with ‘SreK Forever After’. [Note: A tag is a signature of sorts for graffiti artists to mark their work. It’s almost always a pseudonym rather than just their name.]

 
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ZypheR, Justin’s crew
ZypheR, Justin’s crew© Justin Rozario

And as it seems to be a norm, he is also a part of a five member crew. The crew was formed in mid-October 2012 when Justin got an idea of forming a crew after he did a piece at his friend’s place. He already had the name in mind - ZypheR. Starting off with 3 artists who came together, ZypheR is a 5 member crew today.

ZypheR’s first-ever art was a big piece they did in Patuli. A giant wall was transformed into a piece of art by Justin and his crew-mates. It is also the most memorable piece for Justin as tell us, “Making the blueprint, ordering for so many paints, traveling, climbing the ladder to cover the height of the wall with paint, every little thing was very special and a really awesome experience working with my crew mate. It was two days of hard work starting from morning till the evening. As one of our crew mates was out of Calcutta, only two of us did the piece.”

 

 
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Badaboom means "Done with a Bang"
Badaboom means "Done with a Bang" © Justin Rozario

Considering the fact that almost everywhere graffiti is considered as vandalism there is always a conflict amongst the artists and owners of the properties. We asked Justin how ZypheR went about their work on. He says, “Most of the time we try to take permission from the owner and do our piece. We can take our time to complete the piece once we get permission. But the greatest challenge that we face is when we have got the permission but some people object when we are already half way down with our work.”

And as is human nature, people will always want things they can’t get, so it’s not a surprise when Justin said, “But the real thrill in doing graffiti lies in guerrilla art. Going out late at night or early in the morning and the innumerable risks that is involved is the real essence of graffiti.”

 

 
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Graffiti Jam Vol. 2
Graffiti Jam Vol. 2© Justin Rozario

Speaking of obstructions in doing graffiti, there are plenty of times when an artist has to abandon their work mid-way. Justin tells us of one such incident, “Usually we go out together to scout of spots, but one day I went out alone. It was around 4:30 am. Street dogs were the biggest problem so I had to give up one spot I had in my mind. I, then, moved on to another spot and started painting. 

As soon as I started with the outline, a band of stray dogs approached and started barking. I found refuge inside an ATM counter then. When they were distracted I walked out from there. 

Later that day, when I walked past that spot, I found slum dwellers occupying that space with trash bags. A few days later, I went to complete that piece with a friend in the evening. It drew the slum dwellers’ attention. Before they could freak out, we just left. I was very disappointed as I never leave a piece incomplete.”

Lastly, we wanted to know how he masters his art, “Practice makes a man perfect. Regular blackbook work, change in colour palette and breaking graffiti rules really helped me a lot. I take ideas from whatever I see every day”.

 

 

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