NAMAKKAL: Election season used to bring good business to graffiti artists. But this time, it’s quite the opposite, thanks to social media and other online avenues through which political parties are pushing their advertisements. “Till a couple of decades ago, wall paintings were the only form of outdoor publicity during the elections.
The electorate would know of their candidates and their symbols only through wall paintings,” explained N Murugesan (52), an artist from Alanganatham Junction in Senthamangalam. “Thousands of artists like myself migrated from rural areas and thrived. But ever since flex banners and digital advertising got popular, we were left with no work during the election season,” he added. K Parthiban, another artist, said,
“The AIADMK and DMK used to be our main customers, and we used to get work at least two months ahead of the elections. But now, though campaigning is drawing to a close, we have no work.” The ban on banners offered a glimmer of hope to artists but the model code of conduct negated the advantage. “We are getting a few orders as there is a ban on erecting banners in public places.
However, as per the MCC, wall paintings for political propaganda have been banned in urban areas. Hence, we only get work in villages,” Murugesan said. Artists charge up to Rs 150 to draw a party symbol, Parthiban said, adding if the graffiti were to include the political leader’s name and image, they charge Rs 15 per sq ft.