Rediscovering Central Delhi through Street Art: A Montage

Streets of Lodhi Colony, Hauz Khas, Shahpur Jat, Connaught Place, Meherchand Market are covered with walls of beautiful art. It is absolutely astonishing how wonderfully the artists from around the world and India are doodling on the bare canvas of Delhi with meaningful pieces of art that not only aids freedom of speech but also adds to the aesthetics of the city.

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We set out on a mission to discover and document strret art around central Delhi. We started with Agrasen Ki Baoli at Hailey Road near Connaught Place, Delhi. One of most posh areas of Central Delhi studded with an incredible monument and some glorious street art. Wow-Wall of Women, made by Spanish Artist Narea Galan and Street Artist Harsh Raman lays emphasis on how women should be treated like human beings with a heart underneath what portrayed object of desire and the way the uneven texture of the wall has been amalgamated with the mural is impressive. Broken walls depicting broken dreams — as they call it.

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The mural on education, also by Harsh Raman, was painted on the next wall. This mural was made in February, 2016 as a part of Not A Crime — street art campaign for education equality in Iran.

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As we crossed Agrasen ki Baoli, the queue of autos covered this three-eyed monster with dracula-like fangs and a big red tongue that resembles a slimy red carpet. It was enchanting. There were other ones too, but faded or painted upon.

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As we made our way to the outer circle of CP, we came across a colourful mural of an eagle by Bangkok based artist Rukkit Kuanhawate composed on a wall of a public washroom.

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On this hot and humid Saturday afternoon, we parked our car and walked through the entire middle circle of Connaught Place looking for Street Art. And there it was — a series of murals on women empowerment, anti-violence and girl power.

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Only when you look at this piece of art from across the street you’ll realise what the lady on the bird really signifies. We have left this bit for you to find out for yourself and get your mind blown.

This entire series is an initiative by St.ART Delhi who make an aesthetically honest attempt at painting the Indian landscape with colours of freedom, love, culture and harmony.

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As we wandered down the narrow alleyways, sometimes in a frame-friendly fashion, we stumbled upon a fiery graffiti of a God-like figurine.

And then we spotted gold. Italian visual artist Alina Vergnano trademark style was visible at a distant on the third floor of a random building in the middle circle of Connaught Place. We tried to grasp the meaning of this graffiti and finally decided that it’s just women talking which is never a bad thing. Or is it?

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There was graffiti all over this space. Some funny, some thought-provoking and some just visually peaceful and enigmatic at the same time.

It was now the turn of  Delhi’s very own Art District — Lodhi Colony.

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The founder of Delhi Street Art (DSA), Yogesh Saini, in an interview titled “Through the looking Glass” to University Express, talks about how it all started with the painting of trash cans in Lodhi Gardens. And now it has seemed to seep onto walls so majestically.

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The first one that we came across was alien dolphins. The usage of colours was astounding and trippy. This mirroring mural was a cumulative effort of about 8 people.

We have always been fans of botanical art and ‘Amma’ by Indian artist Blaise Joseph had to be one of our favourites. The detailing was absolutely marvellous. This portrait of a mother figure represents her as a pollinator of civilization and society. This also signifies the loss we are facing in our flora and fauna in the name of development.

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Right in front of ‘Amma’ was ‘Don’t Let This Symbolism Kill Your Heart’ by Vandal street artist Nafir from Iran. This graffiti was made to raise a voice against the subjugation of women in India and Iran.

Mehar Chand Market surprised us with another great work of art — Lavanya by ecb Hendrik Beikirch — which captures the aura of a local woman from the community who have several struggles in their lives and have to perform multiple roles yet maintain utmost grace through their innumerable endeavours.

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It is not everyday that a mural tries to capture an image of you. Avinash and Kamesh created “The Tourist” in an attempt to turn the wall around on the viewer as a comment on the selfie generation.

This was only one of the massive graffitis at Lodhi Colony, here are some more extravagant ones with astonishing attention to detail.14037373_10208994394949962_50276597_o

“From your Strength, I Weave Beauty” by Shilo Shiv Suleman brings the spotlight on the communities that have traditionally engaged in prostitution in Najafgarh. This piece was made by Suleman along with women from the Sewing New Futures community.14037924_10208994394709956_1363857782_o

‘Katha-Crazy Twins: Chiller Champa & Boom Bhaijaan’ by Harsh Raman was a long watch. The detailing was engaging and the colours seem to grow on you. This was his attempt to bridge the gap between the older migrant parents and the newer generation.

‘Order in chaos’ by Daleast was created during St+art Delhi 2015 to depict how everything moves fast yet everything works, despite the chaos.

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Lodhi Art District is a must visit. There were a lot of undiscovered graffiti that we didn’t have enough time or energy to look through. We made our way to Khan Market — not very far from Lodhi Colony — to catch of glimpse of ‘Day & Night’ by Madrid based artist Okuda San Miguel who is known for his appealing geometric patterns.

Like we said earlier, there is no replacement to exploration on foot. So get out of your bed, with some nice shoes, comfy clothes, tag a few friends along and rediscover your city like you’ve never before. It’ll be fun, promise.

Photo by Era Tangar and Ritu Chandra

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