Graffiti has often been linked with cheap artworks meant to vandalize public property. So much misunderstanding already.

Graffiti dates back to Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire, so it is not as new as we suppose it to be. Graffiti is the modern art form that aims to disseminate social and political messages through artworks that are more accessible to people and do not belong to a certain elite audience.

India has its amazing share of graffiti artists. Here is a look at some of them:

1. Daku

Just like most graffiti artists, Daku maintains his anonymity. Daku’s graffiti started popping in South Delhi and Mumbai in 2008, with his name written exclusively in Devanagari script.

One of Daku’s most famous graffiti can be found in Connaught Place which he made during the 2014 elections, called Mat Do (nice pun there, Daku).

Mat Do can stand for both “Don’t Vote” and “Vote”

And do you remember when the STOP road signs during Commonwealth games turned absolutely hilarious? Yep, that was Daku saying STOP Bribing, STOP Posing, and so on.

Daku was so apt

Daku has been quoted by BBC as “India’s Banksy”.

2. Guesswho

From Fort Kochi, this is another anonymous graffiti artist.

Guesswho’s works describe the dynamics of culture, and his images are often a blend of western and Indian.

Guesswho tries to depict the changing times and the importance of cultures to intermingle in after a certain point of time. This is evident in how amazing the artwork is.

Also read: We Liv’ED It: St+Art Walk To Check Out Street Art In Delhi

3. Zine

These eccentric patterns will obviously be Zine

If you see any electrifying graffiti with sharp shapes and bright colours, rest assured that it is Zine.

Zine is a Delhi-based graffiti artist, originally from Mizoram. His interest in graffiti art developed because of his fascination for colour which is pretty evident in this works.

4. Yantra

Yantra and his mural of Buddha

Yantra’s graffiti span in Assam and Delhi. Yantra is usually known for his biometric designs which convey a socio-political message.

Unlike Daku, whose works have kept the PWD on its toes against any of his art because he does not seek permission, Yantra does not subscribe to that politics.

Yantra has worked with Ranjit Dahiya, a fellow artist on the largest mural of Dadasaheb Phalke.

5. Dizy

Graffiti artist, India

Dizy is the 22-year old Kajal Singh, one of the first female graffiti artists of the country. The most interesting observation made by Dizy is – people in the rural areas are more open to getting graffiti than their counterparts in the urban areas, which says a lot. Who are the real cool, uncool people?

Singh practices old school graffiti with brilliant colours, and loud words.

Graffiti is one of the best art forms to document an ever-changing culture. Though it is sad that there is always a crackdown on graffiti artists because their artwork is seen as vandalizing property, but graffiti aims to rupture the same power hegemony – what is the public and the private when it is the juxtaposition of private that makes the public?

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: The Hindu, BBC News, The Indian Express

Other Recommendations:

Banksy: The Ambiguous, Quirky Graffiti Artist from Bristol


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