Graffiti: Not just an expression of rage anymore

They are moving from the shrouds of secrecy and rebellion to the offices of big companies.

Chandigarh | Published: October 29, 2013 2:37 am

“Well,the rebel has arrived,” painted actor Kunal Kapoor on one of the walls of Nahargarh fort. The year was 2006 and the film which went on to give youngsters their anthem ‘lose control’ was Rang De Basanti. It was perhaps here,where graffiti enters into the popular imagination of college goers and self-declared rebels. Eight years since the film,graffiti is changing from an expression of rage and discontent to an art form perused by many young people.

They are moving from the shrouds of secrecy and rebellion to the offices of big companies. The designers are not just the non-conformists and college drop outs. It is regular college students and academic toppers who are picking up the spray. A group of 12 young students from Government College of Arts,Sector 10 (GCA-10),have picked up the spray and also wants to paint the city beautiful as per their imaginations. Crazy about bikes,they want to name their group ‘Harley davidson’.

Hanit Soni,a final-year BFA student at GCA-10 and a graffiti artist who recently participated at the International Coffee Festival and then the Street Art festival at Sukhna Lake,dreams to own a studio and wishes to make his work acknowledged worldwide.

“Our work is a relationship between a paint brush and our imagination and to the best what I think is that a passionate artist never works for money. He works for a satisfaction within. It’s difficult to paint a wall,but no happiness can be compared with ours when we see that wall painted,” Hanit said.

So,is it self- sustaining? When asked,Hanit added,“Yes,it pays you well enough if you have the skills,passion for your work and the talent.”

A team of 12 members,most of them hailing from Punjab,got to work in the Street Art Festival for the first time. They said they have set high standards for their work and they would like to break their own records of accomplishment.

Apart from satisfying their creative urge,the art is paying these graffiti artists enough to match a well paid job in an MNC. One of the artists who had also painted a birthday hall at Fun Factory,Sector 9 said,“The money is not important. But good work is often rewarded. I recently painted a birthday venue which got me a substantive amount.”

The team has also been offered to paint walls,many times for which,CITCO has rewarded them with good money. Though they don’t want to disclose the money involved,one of the artists said that to paint a 10 X 5 wall,they charge around Rs 10,000.

However,most of them lament the lack of encouragement from the college. Piyush Sharma,another graffiti artist,said,“We went on an all-India visit last year and found JJ College of Arts in Mumbai one of the best as the students there are free to explore their creativity on their college walls.”

Another member added,“Here,we are not allowed to paint any of the walls in our college,neither any of the city walls. But in Delhi,a special project named BRINDA was commissioned by the Brazilian Embassy,which roped in local graffiti artists,who painted three walls across Delhi,including Udham Singh Ki Baoli and Hauz Khas village.”

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