Art is a mirror to society, reflective of the culture of the times in which we live. A form of expression that makes no distinction between age, religion, gender, caste or ethnicity, history has played witness to a multitude of artists from across the board, taking to the streets and turning their cities and towns into vibrant canvasses.
Once considered a form of vandalism, the practice of street art has undergone a redemption, heralded by the likes of such artists as Banksy. The truest reflection of the culture and sensibilities of a people, street art is evocative, thoughtful, and more often than not, anonymous. Indian street artists the likes of Tyler and St+art India have historically used their art as a visual medium of societal commentary, to convey their dissent, dissatisfaction and even hope for the future. To truly know a place, one must only walk through its streets with a keen eye, and discover a wealth of knowledge
A heart sprouting green foliage.
A colourful mosaic staircase.
A surrealist mural featuring Salvador Dalí.
A mural depicting DC comic book hero Batman in an embrace with revered Brazilian retired professional footballer Edson Arantes do Nascimento, also known as Pelé.
A staircase to transport one into outer space.
A ladder rests against a patchwork mural of the continents.
A streetside explosion of colour.
This is the largest street graffiti in the world, painted by renowned Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra. Located at the Olympic Boulevard in Rio which was built for the Rio Olympics in 2016, the work depicts a Tajapo boy from Brazil, a Mursi woman from Ethiopia, a Kayan woman from Thailand (originally from Myanmar), a Supi man from Northern Europe, and a Huli man from Papua New Guinea. They represent humanity’s common ancestors, the indigenous people from America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania. The idea behind the installation is to represent the different ethnicities of the world. The artist studied the features of people from five continents that represent the black, blue, green, red, and gold rings on the Olympic flag. The piece, entitled Etnias or ethnicities, is reflective of the core values of the Olympics, highlighting the interconnectedness and unity of the people of this planet.
All images used in this article are courtesy of Ankita Kumar of Monkey Inc.
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