|PHOTO COURTSEY: SOVAN RAY AND SREK|
I was walking down the street randomly looking , searching for an idea for my blog when I saw the walls around me . Something very familiar greeted me which I have seen in many places- Golfgreen, Jadavpur, Park Street etc. -these were nothing but graffiti’s. Many support it and many think it as vandalism .Personally, I think they are a means to beautify the worn out walls and provide colors to the otherwise dull streets and walls.It was this interest in graffiti and a search regarding it which made me befriend a well known graffiti artist in Kolkata. Hereon, my friend will be known by the name of Srek as most of the graffiti writers work under pseudonyms. They write their pseudonyms on falls to earn recognition or else charges of vandalism can be put up against them. They can truly be called “ghost writers”.
Srek and his team have made numerous trips to various different lanes and by lanes of Kolkata and have created visually appealing graffiti which are recognized by their signature marks”Zypher”.
This particular piece has been made in Lake gardens.The multi-coloured filling inside the alphabets spell out “ZYPHER”. Underneath the signs of the artists have been made so that their identity can be retained.
Both these are a replication of my friends name. One (above ) made in Picnic Garden while the other one (below ) made in Sudder street. Having visited these places myself I can truly vouch for the fact that these break the monotony of the same brown -grey coloured walls cracking from different places and transforming the dullness into a masterpiece.
If you think that graffiti can only be done on walls and streets then it is a wrong notion. It can be done just about anywhere – even a truck. This particular truck was parked for a short time and within that time the graffiti magic was worked on to it to make it look colourful in a manner one could never have imagined. This is what my friend calls as The Truck Bombing in Lake Gardens.
While the young kids have different kinds of bags like Barbie bags and cartoon sketched bags, people going to college or carrying laptop bags have a dull blackish one, and even if it is not black it is always a monotone. But this monotone was broken by Srek again by actually painting the bags. Mobile phone covers are also customized by doing graffitis of common superheros or cartoon characters.
In fact the wind of graffiti has also caught in other places. Recently, Srek was invited for the Graffiti jam in Delhi. The next one was created there.
Graffiti is now going global. Not many people are actually into this and those who are in it know each other through Social Media. A lot of sticker trade also goes on between different countries like Germany, Portugal, Spain, India and other places. Srek was recently invited as a guest to judge the Graffiti event in St James school as well.
I must say about an year ago when I wrote an article on him and his group, Graffiti was evolving. It was despised by many and accepted by many. Today a year later I see a transformation in the attitude of the people. Many from the older generation actually support these groups when they come and work their magic. The Graffiti warehouse is where they meet , jam and plan out further events (details of which will not be revealed here though! ). It is great to see the people accepting it and actually supporting and promoting it. It is even a greater pleasure to see more and more youngsters, all school- college goers and some professionals come together for regular graffiti jams hosted in the city.
On this note I wish all my luck to Srek and his team and all those involved in Graffiti for their wonderful endeavour in keeping it alive in the upcoming years. I will also acknowledge him and his team for the photographs .I end this post with two favourites of mine. The first one made in World Wide Battle for graffiti and the second which literally means “Something done with a bang”