THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:There was a time when Football was not considered as a favourite sport for many but slowly the football fever is gripping the city. With the FIFA World Cup 2018 scheduled to kick-start on June 14, the city is also prepping up with a festive mood to cheer their favourite teams and footballers. Argentina and Brazil are the teams which find more space among people in the State when compared to other teams.
From Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram, the streets of the state have been festooned with posters and flexes of various teams and players, with the supporters of each teams trying to outdo the others in terms of size, powerful quotes, Graffiti work and wall art. With others trying all means to cheer their favourite trams and footballers, Uthama Raj from Trivandrum is also doing his part through his wall art where he has painted out portraits of the players of Argentina and Brazil in colourful strokes in Maruthoor. The wall art tries to capture the moods and sentiments of the football enthusiasts who pass by.
“I started drawing at the age of 3. My father was also into arts. He was someone who used to appreciate art and encouraged me to so drawings, cartoons, “ recalls Uthama. With football taking the centre stage and being a Ronaldo fan himself, this artist thought of putting some more charm to the FIFA World Cup 2018 set to begin within a few days. Using the street wall as his canvas, he has drawn ten portraits of the famous footballers from Argentina and Brazil. He says, “In Trivandrum, usually there are very few people who dedicate themselves to wall art as they don't get paid much so most of them opt for other works. I personally have special interest in this form of art. This is why when a team contacted me to create an image on the theme related to FIFA. I readily agreed.”
The wall art took around five and a half hours to complete. It has been done using fabric paint. He says that most of the people replace wall art with flexes as they believe that these are more cost-effective and doesnot take much time. Uthama is on a mission to reduce the time involved in doing wall art or any other form of art such as graffiti, graphic designing. He says, “ I am training myself to complete the art work with maximum speed without compromising on its perfection. The wall art of the footballers was a two day work but I completed it in just five and a half hours.”
Uthama Raj owns 'Art Villa', an organisation dedicated to arts started one month back where he gives drawing classes to children during their vacations. Besides this, he also does mural art and has done about three mural paintings in various temples of the city. There are about ten students in his studio. He has also won many prizes in national and state level drawing and painting competitions.