Upon entering the premises of the shopping arcade Dilli Haat in INA, you will find a foreigner busy making a mural. Austrian artist Jeremias Altmann is back in the Capital to recreate glimpses of Delhi life.
“I was here in April, earlier this year. That was my first trip to Delhi and I was struck by the web of electronic wires in the city,” says Altmann. His drawings and etchings will also be exhibited at the venue — most of which are also inspired by the mesh of electric wires that hang in Delhi’s streets. “Especially in Old Delhi, the wires are so many that I purposely chose to make black and white etchings on them. Though otherwise, it wasn’t easy to draw and represent life of Delhi’s streets, without using colours,” says the 27-year-old artist.
On his last visit to the city, Altmann had painted some walls in Malviya Nagar. He says, “In Europe, when I draw live on the streets, people do stop by to see what I’m trying to do. But in Delhi, once I start drawing and am immersed in my work, I get shocked when I turn around and see 80 people standing behind me, observing me at work. This once resulted in the traffic coming to a halt when I was painting in Malviya Nagar.”
Wasn’t he ever interrogated by the cops? “Surprisingly no, I wasn’t. I was even thinking what if I get caught. But Delhi people were so kind that some of them even walked up to me to ask if I charge anything, and when I said I paint for free, they offered me chai and food,” he says.
Delhi people were so kind that some of them even walked up to me to ask if I charge anything, and when I said I paint for free, they offered me chai and food
“ Back then, I wasn’t even supported by any institute. Unlike this time, where The Austrian Cultural Forum of the Austrian Embassy and the Delhi Tourism are supporting me,” he adds.
Presently, Altmann is busy finding right colours in the city markets for his Dilli Haat mural. “I was only carrying one travel pack of acrylic colours. I was compelled to use these colours, to represent life, which is an everyday phenomena and so organic in Delhi. Unlike Europe, everything keeps changing here,” he concludes.
- What: Wall painting and photography exhibition
- Where: Dilli Haat, INA
- On till: December 15
- Timings: 11am – 9pm
- Nearest Metro Station: INA on Yellow Line