By Aseem Kulkarni
Poor old and new Delhi. Everyone is constantly complaining about the smell, the air, and the litter that crowds the streets. With all the initiatives and efforts being started to clean Delhi up, the Delhi Street Art initiative deserves special mention, also for adding a little colour and culture to this downtrodden city of ours. The Delhi Street Art Gallery was started in 2013 by Yogesh Saini with the goal to add more colour to Delhi’s open spaces, give local artists a creative outlet to express themselves, and to encourage citizens to keep their public spaces clean, while appreciating art.
Saini is an engineer and an MBA, with a strong creative streak, and interest in ways to better the public space. After a career including corporate leadership stints in the US, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as founding technology startups in Silicon Valley, Saini has found a niche that allows him to merge his business skills with artistic expression. Supported by nearly 200 artists, Delhi Street Art has been involved with several public and commercial art endeavors.
One of the Delhi Street Art's first initiatives was to convert all the 150 garbage bins of Lodi Gardens into public canvases on which amateur and professional artists alike could experiment with their creativity. “By painting the trash bins of Lodi in myriad styles and hues, it has become one of the most unique public parks in the world, where such a large number of art works have been conceived, created and displayed within the confines of the park itself”, says Sahni.
They have taken the gallery to other familiar places all over the city. With Saini’s techy background, it’s not surprising that he’d want to brighten up one of Asia’s biggest software and hardware marketplaces at Nehru Place. Delhi Street Art recently transformed parts of the grimy and run down marketplace by adding several wall murals and 3D artwork on steps leading to the market. Nearly 35 artists took part in this endeavor. The local market association as well as shop keepers were enthusiastic supporters of the effort, and joined in to clean up the pillars and spaces covered with stickers and posters. This effort was conducted in partnership with the Dainik Jagran newspaper group, as a part of Swachh Bharat campaign.
Even though Delhi still has a long way to go, Saini and the gallery have taken on projects in other parts of the country. More recently they went to Gujurat and worked with the Ahmedabad Municipal Coroporation to give the newly built Kavi Nana flyover a makeover, by painting images depicting Gujurati history and heritage.
So keep a lookout for these beautiful displays. From Shankar Market, Todapur Village, and other familiar areas, the Delhi Street Art Gallery is taking the city by storm, and literally making its mark.
Contact: 099110 37729
To find out more and keep up to date with the Delhi Street Art Gallery's upcoming projects, visit their facebook page here
If you'd like to read more about Delhi's amazing street art scene, check out what's happening with the St + Art Festival here