To the readers:

Delhi’s Graffiti Culture

During the initial phase of our exploration we came across many names who have been considered renowned in the field of graffiti and street art. Talking about Delhi, the graffiti scene here started almost a decade ago with the onset of works from one called “Daku”, probably India’s first graffiti artist. Today he has moved on away and done international and national projects while maintaining his anonymity. There are very few pieces done by him that have survived and are in shambles.

Time changes everything — a typographic piece by Daku that utilizes shadow and letters to play with the concept of time.
Time changes everything — a typographic piece by Daku that utilizes shadow and letters to play with the concept of time.
Time changes everything — a typographic piece by Daku that utilizes shadow and letters to play with the concept of time.
Field explorations — Tihar Jail, Lodhi art district, and Shahpur Jat

Graffiti writers v/s Street artists

Along with doing a lot of field explorations we also kept on doing a lot of desk research on the initial origin of graffiti writing and street art. From tagging the initials as a rebel to expressing your thoughts through visuals on the walls there are long documented stories with nothing very absolute.

Smiley faces were drawn by Graffiti writers on murals in retaliation of making the art commercial

The Game Begins

The Spanking Phoenix

In a field unknown to us we stepped on with the first step of getting an experience of using a brush on a wall. At first it was very daunting, looking at a mammoth of a wall in the living space of a sedentary lifestyle home. We had the option to do the corners of the space, which we finalized based on a visual analysis.

Making of our first wall art — The Spanking Phoenix

A Turning Point — Client or Competition?

Next we approached a café near our university, asking if they would be willing to let us paint on a wall they had on the outside. We thought having achieved some progress has added credibility to our portfolio so this might not be that hard after all. But the major challenge with the client was they didn’t like anything we presented to them and somewhere they already knew what they wanted on their wall but weren’t willing to tell.

DeeWar

It started off as a joke, how cool would it be if we did a competition instead of a client. We would have the creative liberty without any hindrance. So why not? We weren’t even hoping to clear the preliminary round after our fellow team didn’t make it through.

Evolution of ideation sketches
The Birth of Rabbit
Our winning entry at DeeWar, Rendezvous’19 at IIT Delhi

What Next?

After the competition we asked ourselves — “What next?”. In the meantime we had been in contact with a street artist — Harsh Raman Paul, who was one of the two who had replied to us, the other being Aaquib Wani. Just the next day after the competition we furthered our conversation with Harsh, who had been occupied with his ventures. However due to the holiday season of Diwali we got to talking with him for real around two weeks after the competition.

Field explorations — The lost pieces of the exhibit from the 2014 WIP: Street Art Show at Okhla Container depot

Baba at Dhaba

We finally had a meeting with Harsh Raman Paul after he came back from his ventures out of town. We were very elated to meet the infamous “Mr. Singh” himself. He is a very humble person with works spread across far and wide in terms of geography and domain. He invited us to his studio, a cozy and comfortable working space decorated with the true essence of an artist.

Assisting Harsh Raman Paul for a commercial project — Dhaba Estd. 1986 , Ambience Mall, Gurgaon

Ceci n’est pa unn rabbit

By this point we realised we had done murals in very comfortable environments and we wanted to experience the severe, raw and challenging yet illegal conditions of Graffiti that is Vandalism. The challenge was what do we do?

A pack of MTN 94 neon collection spray cans that we planned to use
A two layered stencil of our design
Unsuccessful first attempt at vandalism
Second attempt at vandalizing in an alleyway
Our piece on the foundation stone of a park
Reviving the mural — Time changes everything by Daku

Curtain Falls

For our final jury, we put up a live performance where we did the rabbit again, on a frame we had got custom made. Also we compiled all of our journey into a book which will serve as our memoir.

End Note

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store