Register sign with facebook Graffiti Shop Forum
  Homepage      News&Interviews
 November 9, 2013.   0 Comment
Artists give Kolkata’s walls a new perspective




It is a sultry afternoon in Kolkata. The residents of a certain Sudder street are preparing themselves for an afternoon siesta after a heavy meal. The street is usually empty at this time, inhabited only by stray cats in search of fish bones. But there was something different about this day, the street was bustling. Reevu and Co. have decided to give the walls of this street a facelift. The Graffiti bandwagon is at work. And this is not their first wall.




Graffiti in Kolkata is a relatively new concept. Although this city has been bursting at its seams with one art form or the other, no one clearly knows when the genesis of Graffiti here. One thing is for sure; the artistry on the dilapidated walls of the city is a concept that has caught wings of late.
Reevu is one of the premier Graffiti artists of the city. He is often acknowledged as the father of Graffiti in Kolkata (a claim he modestly declines). However, he does take the credit for having located a dingy warehouse in Gariahat to let his art take wings. The walls, which until a few months ago had the plaster crumbling off it, now look like this.


The story of Reevu’s masterstrokes on the walls of Kolkata is very interesting. Having spent a major part of his life in Sydney, the artist took a fancy to Graffiti. During his initial years in Delhi, Reevu skeptically took to the spray cans and started making canvases out of walls. However, his repertoire did not come to full bloom until he shifted to Kolkata- a city arguably more tolerant to sprouting art forms.
In Kolkata, along with dishing out some lip-smacking momos in his restaurant, Reevu took to the walls like fish to water. Soon he was joined by the graffiti artists from the city. The prospect of unrestrained creativity on a life sized canvas was bound to bring about excitement. Youngsters armed with a paintbrush and enthusiasm joined this bandwagon of Graffiti artists in Kolkata.


How easy was it gathering local and legal support in Kolkata? “It was not at all difficult” says Reevu. “Although we love the freedom that the tip of a paintbrush has, we are careful in selecting artists for our group. It is important that you have drawn-out your thoughts on a paper before translating it onto a wall. The idea is to make the wall look better, not deface it”.
Reevu recounts that the support from the locals has been more than gratifying. On occasions, residents have given them a curious look, which often got translated to an appreciative nod and at times even into an interest to pick up a brush themselves to leave a mark on the wall.

I Will Draw Too


Like any other emerging subculture, Graffiti in Kolkata has many walls to scale before it can reach its potential. Its inception has been plagued by more troubles than opportunities. There is the constant fear of being reprimanded by the officials on the charges of ‘defacing a property’. Amidst of all this, it’s heartening to see that artists tread on from one wall to another, one artwork bettering another. 

As Reevu packs his bag with spray cans and heads southward from the warehouse, his stare lingers on a blank space on the opposite wall. Almost as an instinct he pulls out his spray can and paints a quote that probably best sums up a Graffiti artist’s take on things. “Without art, life is a fart” he paints, smiles and heads off. 

You must be logged in to post a comment.
No user - Add a comment