Updated: Nov 5, 2018
The creation of wall art or graffiti dates back to our ancestors, who used spears, stones and other pointed objects to create art as a language on their walls. Wall art is the legacy that the inhabitants of caves left behind to understand the life of the primitive generation through pictorial depiction. But with Darwin’s evolution, this art has come a long way and taken myriad forms in different places of the world. In India most under-developed or developing walls are generally considered nobody's or everybody's property and so one sees indiscriminate paintings or pasting of advertisements and publicity messages on these sites. There is also the formal construct of the street painter here who draw (often with coloured chalk) on the pavements and streets, and live off the money contributed by appreciative passers-by and, those who paint truck or hand-carts and signboards. Some use wall art as a propaganda, some for politics, some to agitate, some for art, and some to beautify the city.
Admist all the local buzz the first Street Art Festival in Kolkata took place in 2017 on 16th July organised by Berger Paints. The walls of Kolkata have a lot to say when it comes to depicting views, ideas and interest, when it comes to art, and thus rightly called the city of creativity. As part of this art festival, prominent walls in Kolkata like Park Circus 7-Point Crossing, Exide Crossing, Ballygunge Tram Depot, Eden Gardens and Topsia were used as expansive canvases and the artists unleashed their sense of creativity and imagination.
The paint on the walls with such vibrancy of colours and illustrations speak it all. The heritage is still unperturbed in the city and only attains a new meaning, blooming through such works. With different people, different mindsets and different colours come different designs and visualisations. From talking about the prevalent issues to the adorned idols to the small tea nukkads, Kolkata's wall art depicts them all.
Street art exists worldwide. Large cities and regional towns of the world are home to some form of street art community, from which pioneering artists or forerunners of particular mediums or techniques emerge. Internationally known street artists travel between such locations to promote and exhibit their artwork. This initiative has put Kolkata on the street art world map at par with Brussels, Lisbon and Atlanta among many others. Put a full stop to your daily monotonous life, and walk down the streets, roll your eyes over the walls. It's the best visual you would probably enjoy in Kolkata's alleys!