BENGALURU: Imagine a city where graffiti wasn't illegal, a city where everybody could draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business", said UK-born street artist Banksy, who is known for his subversive graffiti.
Closer home, Bengaluru on Sunday witnesses a similar spectacle — a street art mural — by Harshvardhan Kadam. The artwork will cover the facade of a three-storey building of jewelry brand Love Is For Ever's (LIFE) studio in Indiranagar.
"Street art murals are a form of story telling. My current work depicts a lover and is a commentary on the complexities of modern day relationship. There is also a broader story of man's connections and conflicts with his environment," says Kadam, who has worked as an art director for many animated and feature films. His graphic novel based on Deepak Chopra's Buddha: The Tale of Enlightenment was published by Virgin Comics in 2014.
A street artist has always been seen as a rebel, one who sows ideas in a society that plays by the rules. But would Bengaluru be receptive to these? "How can we predict what a street art would inspire? My experience so far has been good," he says.
Kadam wants people to reimagine public spaces. "The spaces I have painted on have been transformed. The art blends into the environment and finds its way into the otherwise mundane everyday life," says Kadam.
The artist from Pune took to the brush early on, but soon ran out of inspiration. "I was 26-years-old and had tried my hand at every style, which is when I started looking for more. I was drawn to the power of art in public spaces and, since 2012, I've been doing this," he says.
The event will be thrown open to children, who shall render the final touches to the mural.
"Children will get to see and understand the mural," says Kadam, adding that this experience might "destroy" their understanding of art. "But this is about lending them confidence to explore public spaces and beautify them. It will allow them to be free to pick colours and explore what they can do with it."
The initiative is part of the LIFE's Art-To-Heart public campaign that aims to sensitise the community by engaging them with art and artists they can relate to.
"The objective of the campaign is to engage families in art related community activities and give them a sense of pride and ownership in their public spaces," says Dipti Sathe, chief operating officer at LIFE.