Meet The Graffiti Artists Using Their Art To Make A Point About Society


What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the term ‘graffiti’? For me, it has to be big pops of colours that somehow look exceedingly impressive together, as they do individually. While for many, it only serves as an IG worthy backdrop, for the other half it’s a disruption of space. I mean, let’s face it – we live in a country where people don’t mind spitting paan on these walls. They would prefer that, than accept the fact that a social message expressed in the form of art for the betterment of their own society is more worthy in every aspect. Some of us however, are aesthetes who seek works of art and don’t skip a chance at appreciating it. And that my friends, is exactly how this story has found its way to your feed.

In contemporary times, you don’t have to be living in a city of skyscrapers to spot these beautiful works of art. Lately, more and more artists have been painting the town red, especially in smaller cities where you would least expect it. It’s almost like taking a bite of cake and realizing it’s filled with molten choco lava. I spoke to three such artists who opened up about the street art scene and their community.

1. Sanatan Vatsayan


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A post shared by JAXXER (@sanatanvatsayan)

Sanatan Vatsayan, a local artist enjoys the thrill and perplexity that comes with his art. When asked about some pros and cons of being a graffiti artist in a smaller city like Patna he explains, “I feel like a pioneer of this age-old art form in my city. At times, I have people who appreciate my art and other times it is also the opposite. Graffiti is a form of art that is meant to surprise people and I don’t believe it should be limited to urban landscapes”. Sanatan has been the curator of several art works across the city and believes his vibrant and eclectic pieces certainly make the spectator ‘feel something’ which is in fact, the point of art.

2. Kartikey Sharma

Pune-based artist and entrepreneur, Kartikey Sharma shares the one thing he wishes more people knew about an art form that has been declared illegal. “Graffiti originated as a way of people writing their names on walls to declare their identity. Suppressed communities in the past who had to fight for their basic rights used graffiti as a medium to declare proof of their existence.” His continued efforts towards painting wall murals pave the way to a progressive, more acceptable society. One where difference in opinion does not overpower freedom of expression, especially in the form of art. “A large part of these communities are still trying to find their seat at the table and hence continue writing their names on walls”, adds Kartikey.

3. Guess Who Street Art


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A post shared by Guesswho (@guesswhostreetart)

Guess Who Street Art who keeps their identity anonymous, wishes that the society realised “Public spaces are already polluted with advertisements, various banners and posters!” It is heartbreaking that this is considered normal and street art is not. However, as a Kochi-based graffiti artist they value their ability to address subjects specific to their local societies. This may not stand out to art critics for global recognition but makes for a strong case of expression, nonetheless. “Artists only try to put things in perspective. Sometimes a provocation, a starting point for further conversations”, shares Guess Who.

The question remains, how can art be illegal? Although, slowly but surely a progress in the uplifting of this community is seen. As artists continue to create despite the obstacles they face, one too many individuals have come forward to express their support by donating walls to these artists for their open expression. Sanatan, Kartikey and Guess Who are among the few who are making it happen even in smaller cities of India where every step counts!

For more on art and culture, read here.

- Bookings Editor


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