Remember the St+ART Delhi festival that led to amazing street art across Delhi and the Kulture Shop x Street Art Co-Lab with limited edition tees & prints with graffiti-gods Daku (India), Ano (Taiwan), Bond (Germany) and muralists Mattia Lullini (Italy), M-City (Poland) and Amitabh Kumar (India).
Well they’re finally in Mumbai and we couldn’t be more excited! Spanning mainly across Bandra, Dharavi and Versova, the St+ART Mumbai festival captures the spirit of the city, continuing the endeavour started by the Wall Project, and distilling it to introduce concepts and mediums of street art through a selection of Indian and international artists including old favourites: Anpu, Amitabh Kumar, Bond, Bollywood Art Project (BAP) and new ones: Tika, Daan Botlek, Tona, with workshops, community projects, graffiti jams and of course, giant painted walls.
The St+ART Mumbai Festival began on 7 Nov, with a public screening at the Carter Road Amphitheatre to introduce the concept of Street Art to the public. Supported by stickering, graffiti, typography and stencil workshops by festival Creative Director, Hanif Kureshi and invited artists Anpu, Ano, Bond and others. It continued to take over some key locations, such as the Jindal Mansion at Peddar Road, with Filthy Luker’s inflatable monster and the Versova Metro Station, along with the large MTNL building facade and other spaces all across Bandra West and in Dharavi, going well over the end date of 30 November, as the walls just kept coming. The festival culminated with a graffiti jam which saw many young volunteers stealing wall space from the artists to leave their tags. Read on as we take you through some of the walls.
Pali village was the first set of walls, more pedestrian friendly interventions, which people can notice walking through its sleepy, winding lanes. We began at Hawaiian Shack, whose side wall is canvas to Amitabh Kumar’s much-much. It’s absolutely fun watching this former comic-book maker take on more Mumbai walls with his signature line-work. Check out his limited edition tee here and read more on him here.
In the sleepy urban village of Chimbai, Daan Botlek’s (The Netherlands) ‘Continental Drift’, which speaks of the struggles of man, on Aseema Public School, run by the NGO Aseema Foundation. Daan’s work often features humanoids working together to get things done, and often speaks of hope and togetherness. In Chimbai are also examples of Seikon (Poland) and TONA + Notes (Germany) collaborations.
Manuel Gonsalves Road:
On Manuel Gonsalves Road, the facade of the St. Joseph Primary & Kindergarten School is given grace by Inkbrushnme’s mythical design in conjunction with Polish artist Seikon’s more geometric, and entirely abstract panel. The juxtaposition offsets two different styles of abstract work against each other: Inkbrushnme’s more fluid composition that uses Indian mythology to communicate, while Seikon’s lines and planes give a sense of structured minimalism.
Hotel Bandra Residency:
Anpu also did a solo wall on Hotel Bandra Residency near Bandra Station (west), pulling off quite a departure from her earlier murals, with Squeeze. The mural, featuring a custard apple, is Anpu’s interpretation of Mumbai, a city that is outwardly hard, and sweet and mushy on the inside.
On Bandra’s busy, busy Hill Road is Taiwanese superstar Ano’s blue elephant. Ano took over the facade of Vienna Stores, breathing new life into this old and dilapidated building in the form of a happy, blue elephant decorated with 8-bit flowers. Check out his limited edition prints and tees here, and his intervention at the Mt. Mary Steps right near the KS Studio. To read more on Ano, click here.
Up ahead through Waroda Road and Ranwar Village one sees a lot of Tona. The German artist expands his presence from Delhi to Mumbai with his signature photo-real stencils of street kids sneaking onto you from nooks and crannies.
Coming Home by Dome (Germany) stands tall, taking over the entire façade of the Diamond Arch building (near Starbucks) is this huge mural combining all the things Dome saw in the time he spent here: fishermen, delivery boys on cycles and the long working hours of many in the city, with his signature style of stencilled body parts.
Down the road from Hotel Rangsharda, is Swiss artist TIKA THEK’s amazing (and really, really massive) wall of the New Friends Building. The Swiss artist works site-specifically, meeting locals and residents as she paints, incorporating thoughts that come out of her conversation with them. In this building she embodies the spirit of Bandra: A place inhabited by people from different places, practicing different religions, living together. Her mural shows a large group of animals co-existing on the wall of New Friends, including the endangered tiger and India’s national bird, the Peacock.
Last, but not the least, we move to Jude Bakery. The exhibition, Magma I, breathes life into a Bandra landmark from another era, the Bakery, functional and frequented till about half a dozen years ago, when the owner died and the bakery was shut down. For one month this year, Jude Bakery opens up again to house not baked goods but street art and techniques, which the artists apply to indoor walls and paper works. The exhibition continued with a more distilled form at Upadrastha House in Kalaghoda, the fine art district becoming home to some amazing street art.
Magma Vol. II took the initiative to Bombay’s art district, Kala Ghoda. Slightly bigger than Jude Bakery, Upadrastha House currently has works by Daan Botlek, Bond, Tyler, Tona and many more. Picture above is Daku’s work title Temporarycon. To read more about Daku, click here, and to shop his limited edition tee for Kulture Shop, click here.
The Big One:
Lastly, we’d be remiss not mentioning The Big One – St+ART MUMBAI’s 125 ft x 150 ft tribute to the city’s famous film industry, depicting the Father of Indian Cinema, Dadasaheb Phalke, a Mumbaikar who first explored the magic of cinema in India. The mural was done by Bollywood Art Project founder Ranjit Dahiya, helped on by Yantr, Munir & Nilesh.
Thanks to the St+ART team for putting together such a fantastic festival that gave our city a much-needed facelift. Looking forward to the next edition in Delhi, in Jan 2015!
All images courtesy Akshat Nauriyal / St+ART India Foundation, unless otherwise mentioned.