Going domestic: Delhi homes are becoming canvas for street art now | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Going domestic: Delhi homes are becoming canvas for street art now

After transforming public spaces across the city, street art goes domestic. Influenced by colourful murals, a growing number of Delhiites are choosing street art for interiors.

delhi Updated: Apr 09, 2017 08:25 IST
Manoj Sharma
Arif Khair’s home in Greater Kailash is a veritable gallery of street art — a scene from the movie Roman Holiday, and football legends Messi and Ronaldo.
Arif Khair’s home in Greater Kailash is a veritable gallery of street art — a scene from the movie Roman Holiday, and football legends Messi and Ronaldo.(Burhaan Kinu/HT Photo)

A large bare wall in Aman Jain’s new house in Gurgaon stood out for its emptiness. Jain had considered several conventional options — wall paper, photographs, paintings — to decorate it, but nothing seemed to fit the bill. “These options were way too small and yet, the wall was too big to be kept empty. I thought some sort of street art might be a good option,” says Jain, an entrepreneur.

He got in touch with one of the many street art groups that have been at the forefront of Delhi’s fast-evolving street art scene. The artists discussed several options with Jain and finally painted a tree on the wall in the dining area that overlooks the lawn. “I am happy with my decision. The wall has added to the aesthetics of our environment-friendly house. The green tree merges so well with the lawn,” says Jain. “Besides, I have the flexibility of having an entirely new artwork if I get bored with this,” he adds.

After transforming public spaces across the city, street art is now making inroads into Delhi homes. Influenced by colourful murals on the streets, an increasing number of Delhiites are commissioning street art for interiors. And it’s not just for the basement and terrace, street art now finds place in bedroom décor too.

“These days we are getting a lot of requests from home owners to do their walls. I think what is prompting them is the desire to have pop art inside their homes,” says Yogesh Saini, founder, Delhi Street Art (DSA). “Not just modern, contemporary houses, we have done street art in a few private havelis too in the walled city,” he says.

Asif Khair, who runs a content company, lives in a veritable gallery of street art: portraits of Beatles enliven the staircase, the iconic Vespa ride scene from Roman Holiday adorns one half of the terrace wall and portraits of football legends Messi and Ronaldo are on the other half.

“The architect came up with various suggestions, including paintings and tile art, but we went for street art. I feel that a lot of people are now amenable to the idea of street art inside their homes as they are getting exposed to so much of it in restaurants these days,” says Khair, who lives in Greater Kailash.

Kritika Mahindra , co-founder, Art on the Wall, an organisation that promotes street artists, agrees. “A lot of people are hiring street artists because they have seen their work in public spaces and they want to replicate the kitsch and pop art inside their homes,” says Mahindra.

Kritika says that in the past one year, her team of street artists has painted murals in 50 houses and mostly in bed rooms and children’s room.

So, what are the most popular street art themes for interiors? Portraits and selfies in kitch and pop form, says Kritika. She adds that people who commission street artists for homes also want to be involved in the creative process. “Since art is customised for their homes, they don’t just watch the artwork unfold, but also get involved in its creation,” says Mahindra. “Sometimes, they even pick up the brush. This is something that is not possible if they choose framed paintings for their homes,” she laughs.

Samia Singh, a well-known artist and graphic designer, who was commissioned to make a mural in Carballo, Spain, by the city council, says that painting a wall is a completely different artistic enterprise than creating a painting on canvass. “In a painting, an artist has a limited frame, but in wall art he has the whole wall to himself. The wall allows an artist to give full play to his imagination,” she says. “Street art is more intense, dramatic and overpowering. It transports you to a different place. If you have the painting of a jungle on a big wall in your room, it gives you the feeling of being there. This is something that a 30-feet wall can do, not a 2-feet painting,” she adds.

Many artists such as Mumbai-based Shivani Kohli say that they treat wall art as a fine art. “The only difference is that a big wall is the canvass. I like to work indoors with brush rather than with spray which is generally used outdoor. The idea is to ensure the art work on the wall looks subtle and arty. But doing a wall indoors is hard work; you have to stand on a ladder for eight hours a day,” says Kohli who calls herself as a muralist.

She says that these days she also gets a lot of work through architects and interior designers. So, is there always a meeting of minds? “At times, there are problems. While I am open to suggestions, I ensure that I have a final say in style and execution of a mural,” says Kohli, who create murals, both indoor and outdoor.

So, how much does street art inside home can cost? “Anything between Rs 20,000 to Rs 2 lakh depending on the nature of art and size of the space to be painted,” says Saini of Delhi Street Art.