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Graffiti: Dead walls do tell us tales

What was once a blank wall of a building has the chance to become something completely new when decorated with graffiti

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Graffiti work by: Yantr

GUWAHATI:  Graffiti, a form of art that cannot be defined by words, a form of art which has been a scandalous and politically aggressive product of mysterious artists veiled by looming shades of multihued shadows.

It is a form of artwork which is valid in its own right. What was once a blank wall of a building has the chance to become something completely new when decorated with graffiti.

Graffiti is a very, very lesser known to people, which depicts the picture of the society without its veil.

Street art or Graffiti was introduced by Yantr in India in 2006. Yantr, who hails from Assam, and yet his identity is not known to anybody, is a designer who introduced contemporary mural art as a street art in India.

Speaking to Time8, he said, “I took street art seriously in a moment when I felt that I must move on, then I quit my job and set out on a journey around India. It is then I realized that street art is my way of appreciating the beauty of a place and it gave me immense joy.”

“I have painted the streets of Assam, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Shillong and some other cities. I like to play around with different places and beliefs of people regarding that place”, he added.

When asked about his name Yantr, he said, “Yantr is not only a name or identity but it is my connection with childhood. I have spent a lot of time around machinery, as my father owned a garage.”

Some of Yantr’s brilliant art works are: he stenciled a man with notes at different places in Delhi overnight in 2011 to protest against black money. He also created ‘Parmanu Muskan’, the Buddha wearing a mechanical mask, for creating awareness of environmental issues.

In Assam he painted a bleeding rhino near Assam Zoo to highlight illegal poaching of rhinos for its horns. He also painted a simple wall with a window into a dream sequence which later featured in home and design trends magazine. In 2015, he created promotional wall arts for Cadbury Oreo biscuits in Delhi.

In 2016, he painted India’s tallest mural, 115 feet high water tank, depicting the wildlife conservation named Mission Leopard, in National Capital Region Gurgaon (Now Gurugram).

In September 2016, he painted India’s first ever fire station in Pune, depicting the courage and spirit of firemen.

Another artist from Assam, Neelim Mahanta, who chose to remain faceless in today’s society, recently has drawn picture of renowned artist Zubeen Garg in the Nagaon by-pass which created a buzz in the social media.

Mahanta who has recently gained popularity for his art, said “One of the reasons why public can relate to street art is because they are not going for art exhibition/gallery, but appreciates a piece of art on the streets while going for work, college or a drive”.

“I believe it helps adding a meaning to the dead walls. It’s all about the space and people and visualizing an idea or a thought”, he added.

On asking why he opted for such an art, Mahanta said that street art is not an option for me, adding, “For me it’s just another surface for public viewing, like the other surfaces that I work on: from canvas to a wooden plank, a boat to a bus and everything”.