Two lives, two identities — that’s how french artist Marrrtin Dezer sees himself. Graffiti artist by day and deejay by night, Marrrtin creates what he loves best — paintings and music.
Paintings on the walls in the suburbs of Paris to the streets of India, Marrrtin along with graffiti artists Julien Migwel and Ken Keflione are in the Capital as a part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of The Human Rights Declaration organised by Alliance Francaise.
Their motive? To show Indians a new form of expression through the language of choice. “Graffiti is the common man’s art. You don’t need a canvas or any knowledge of painting. You can do just about anything you want with a set of spray cans and paintbrushes,” said 33-year-old Marrrtin. “And in India because of its diverse scripts and vibrant regional culture, there’s a lot of talent graffiti art can cultivate.”
Having begun 16 years ago, when graffiti was still considered illegal, today Marrrtin is a much sought-after artist. His specialty is letters, unlike Julien who likes to paint faces with an edgy feel or Ken who is more into the bubble-gummy look. “Playing with letters is like making a song. You string them all together to make it look beautiful,” he said. Which is perhaps why there’s a long queue of people at Alliance Francaise waiting for him to paint their names on a piece of cardboard, proceeds of which go to NGO Project Why.
Sports shoes, leather wallets, mobile phones, handbags — there’s a whole range of things that people brought along with them to be graffitied on.
For Julien Migwel this experience has shown him the bigger picture, literally. “I had no idea that people would respond to graffiti with such enthusiasm,” said this graphic designer by day.