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Mural by Yantr showing an organic, yet machine-like structure.

Shahpur Jat denizens walking past graffiti by Andy Yen & Tofu

The Cat with the Woollen Yarn by ANPU

Okuda completing a trademark geometric mural

Portrait of Mahatma Gandhi at the Delhi Police headquarter.

Chardiwar, a poem painted along the Tihar Jail wall.

Exhibit by Okuda for This is Not Street Art.

The ‘Stencil Corner’ featuring multiple artists.

Graffiti on a radio taxi.

St+Art

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Showcase 30 Apr 2014

St+Art festival kicks off in Delhi

A street art festival hosted in Delhi in 2014 that restyled the city’s landscape with colour and art.

In April 2012, a group of street artists came together in Khirki Extension (an urban village in New Delhi) to paint some murals which soon developed into a festival called Extension Khirki. There were several murals that came up in the area after the festival, however the need for a larger platform for the street art community was felt. This resulted in the organisation of St+Art india, a realisation of the platform.

Urban villages in South Delhi such as Shahpur Jat, Hauz Khas Village, and Sheikh Sarai were chosen as target venues as they presented a freedom of expression that other places in Delhi lacked. Permission for the walls from the owners, Delhi Police, and municipal departments were acquired. Artists from around the world and various parts of India were invited to take part in the first ever St+Art festival in India.

St+Art at Shahpur Jat

Shahpur Jat is an urban village in South Delhi, located near Hauz Khas, within one of the ancient capital cities of Delhi—Siri Fort.

On 10th January 2014, ANPU, a street artist based in New Delhi, began painting a 4-storey wall in Shahpur Jat. ‘The Cat with the Woollen Yarn’ shortly became a local landmark in the village. Other participating artists from around India and the world joined the festival and by the end of February over fifty pieces of street art were completed. This generated a lot of response and active participation from the community which ultimately changed the face of the urban village.

Shahpur Jat denizens walking past graffiti by Andy Yen & Tofu

The Cat with the Woollen Yarn by ANPU

St+Art and Delhi Police  

Hendrik ECB Beikrich, a German street artist known for his larger-than-life murals around the world agreed to paint a mural for the festival. One of his murals in Busan, South Korea is the tallest in Asia. As Delhi does not offer many options for painting tall walls, the 16-storey wall of the Delhi Police headquarters was found to be the most suitable for the artist. After reviewing St+Art Delhi’s proposal, Delhi Police Commissioner, Shri Bhim Sain Bassi gave permission to the festival to paint a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on their wall. Hendrik along with ANPU started painting on 24th January and after five full days, they finished the 158-feet tall mural on 30th January, Martyrs’ Day. The tallest mural in India has now become an iconic landmark.

Portrait of Mahatma Gandhi at the Delhi Police headquarter.

St+Art and Delhi Prisons  

While looking for walls, St+Art approached Tihar Jail (Asia’s largest prison) to make possible a collaboration between St+Art and Delhi prisons. Together, they executed two  key activities. 

The first activity was a six-day workshop conducted by Blaise Joseph, wherein 21 inmates explored their creative possibilities using mediums such as newspaper, oil  pastel, ink, and paper. 

The second activity was a collaboration between 16 street artists from around the world and 16 local sign painters. The team painted the poem Chardiwar, written by Seema Ranghuvanshi, a female inmate on a 968-metre long wall of Tihar Jail. The wall also promotes the tradition of using hand painted signs, a dying tradition with the rise in popularity of digital printing. The long mural breaks the stereotypes around the notions of a jail wall. It took 21 days to paint, and is now India’s longest mural.

Chardiwar, a poem painted along the Tihar Jail wall.

St+Art Exhibition: This is Not Street Art

A selection of artworks created by the invited artists in their studios along with site-specific installations was produced for the St+Art exhibition. From drawings to canvases, to stencils and posters, to site-specific works, the exhibition titled ‘This Is Not Street Art’ provided a window to the hybrid, post-modernist, and post-graffiti phenomenon of urban art.

Alina Vergnano, Alias, Ano9, Amitabh Kumar, ANPU, Bond, Daku, Harsh Raman, Hendrik ECB Beikirch, M-City, Mattia Lullini, Yantr, Okuda, Ranjit Dahiya, Tona, Harshvardhan Kadam—their juxtaposed artworks created a show based on comparisons giving the audience an opportunity to witness a peerless artistic and cultural exchange. The exhibition received a tremendous response with over 50 per cent of the artworks sold in a one-month period.

Exhibit by Okuda for This is Not Street Art.

The ‘Stencil Corner’ featuring multiple artists.

Hanif Kureshi, Co-founder, St+Art Delhi

How is street art different from other forms of art? 

“Street art has an entirely different perspective on art. The art world is unapproachable for the common man. In a gallery the intention is to go and see art. However in public spaces, such as Shahpur Jat, the art comes to you. It takes you by surprise and the impact is greater when you are not prepared. The street is a democratic medium. The space always comes first and this differentiates street art from other art.” 

What is the future of St+Art? 

“Definitely we will have another edition of St+Art Delhi next year and an edition of St+Art Mumbai by the end of November. The plan is to form a society with people in other fields and to promote street art and provide a platform. There are a lot of people who want to go out and paint, but they find that there is no platform.” 

 

IMAGES


All images courtesy st+art delhi, including,

• Akshat Nauriyal
• Enrico Fabian
• Mridula Garg
• Ricky
• Jayant Parashar
• Giulia Ambrogi