The best street art is reflective of wider trends in society and can be used to stimulate an intellectual discussion revolving around significant issues and happenings around the world. The Kolkata Street Art Festival (KSAF), an initiative by Berger Paints India Ltd., saw some of the most talented artists add colour to the cityscape of Kolkata, beautifying its walls, one dexterous stroke after another.
The initiative got underway in July in 2017, and was supervised by the eminent artist, Prof. Jogen Chowdhury. The project is seeking to collaborate with local authorities and government bodies to ensure that the works of art are constantly maintained and kept clean.
Take a virtual tour of these beautiful and meaningful visuals through murals that imaginatively depict various social contexts made by these creative souls…
As an ode to Satyajit Ray’s father, Sukumar Ray, who was a master illustrator and a powerful satirist, one of the artists Rita Paul recreated one of his famous works ‘Abol Tabol.’
Kolkata Street Art Festival also saw artists create art not just for the sake of spreading beauty and colour but to get their message out to a wider audience. One of the artists, Shambhu Saha, raised awareness about the contamination of rivers through an evocative painting.
Barun Saha is an introvert by nature but art liberates him. His mural depicting Tom and Jerry stirred fond memories of the famous and adorable cartoon duo loved by children all over the world. Another of his works captured the spirit of Kolkata with the colours of festivity and harmony. His other piece of work highlighted the plight of rivers, seas and the creatures that populate them, all of which are under threat due to man’s actions. There was an elegant mural by the same artist on forgotten artefacts. Yet another of his creations depicted aristocracy and poetry. He also captured the mood of October nights with an underlying environmental awareness message in another piece of work.
Another artist, Swapan Sarkar, paid tribute to the elusive butterfly of happiness. Artist Kushal Mukherjee celebrated the victory of the Indian athlete in different fields with his beautiful piece. An interesting question was raised by one of the murals created by Dipak Samanta on whether walls spark our imagination or isolate us. There was another mural by Swapan Sarkar, which evoked the tranquillity of the night.
The Kolkata Street Art Festival was characterised by spectacular, unique and colourful works of art by these artists and literally transformed the landscape of the heritage city of Kolkata, celebrating its culture and displaying the power of creativity! It served as a wonderful metaphor for the city, reflecting on its rich past and present, while raising pertinent questions in the minds of the audience. This initiative by Berger Paints has also earned Kolkata a place on the street art world map.