By Suchita S. & Maitreyi Nandhakumar

Taking Delhi by storm, changing the perception of art, and doing so in a manner that’ll have Kejriwal’s approval is St.Art Delhi, a movement started by Hanif Kureshi and Arjun Bahl. Our Facebook and Instagram feed has been buzzing with pictures of a colossal Mahatma Gandhi artwork mounted on a building in ITO, a Bollywood beauty encompassing a giant wall, graffiti-esque work on Easy Cabs, and art work on walls, in classrooms, and even on dumpsters.

St. Art Delhi started earlier in January of this year as India’s first purely street art festival. They’ve brought in artists from all over India, and the world; Alias and Hendrik ECB Beikirch from Germany, Alina from Italy, Sé Cordeiro from Brazil, and Harsh Raman, Daku and Ranjit Dahiya from India to name a few. The scale of the festival and the works created for it are commendable to say the least! Shahpur Jat, Hauz Khas Village, Khirkee Extension, and pockets in Dwarka have come alive because of the fest. A billi with a ball of wool is now a landmark for villagers in SPJ, a beautiful heroine’s portrait has everyone debating which yesteryears actress she reminds them most of, and school kids are happily posing with “Gulabi Gang.” It doesn’t matter what the work is about or who it’s by – that it’s there, amidst the people of these hamlets, and that it’s been created with their consent is what makes it special.

Conversations, visual stimulations, a connect, or just a break from a staid old moss stained wall… whatever the takeaway from these works of street art, it’s evident that this festival’s prerogative to take art to the people has been a success; they’ve taken art out of the museums and the galleries with pristine white walls, and made it for everyone to experience.

We attended a walk organized by Delhi Dallying especially as a part of the festival and got a chance to listen to the story behind the works up in Shahpur Jat.

Here are our 7 favourite works from the festival, and some things you may or may not know about them.

ANPU | DELHI

Anpu moved to Delhi from Bremen, Germany, and has been making her signature cat stencils since.

anpu-delhi-street-art

Fun Fact: Created by climbing three roofs and a scaffolding, this was the first piece of artwork to be completed in the village. It has since become a landmark there, with people overheard giving directions like “ Take a left from the Billi

SERGIO | BRAZIL

Se Cordeiro is a Brazilian artist and designer residing in Sao Paulo. In 2011, he visited India to work on the BRINDA street Art Project. {read about it here}

Sergio-brazil-street-art

Fun Fact: The woman in the artwork is supposed to be part of the Gulabi gang and is cautioning men to stay away, else she’ll pin them down. The large piece of artwork uses a  background wall which  wasn’t cleaned up.

ALIAS | GERMANY

Master of the stencil technique, Alias has been an artist for the last 12 years, and does extensive recces before he picks his locations.

Alias- germany-street-art

Fun Fact: Preferring to remain anonymous, this artist creates figures that are extremely contextual and hidden from one’s direct line of eyesight. He is said to have taken the longest to find a wall for his artwork.

ANO | TAIWAN

Using pixel patterns as the basic element, Ano makes use of themes from video games, working with colors to challenge human visual limits.

ano-taiwan-street-art

Fun Fact: Owing to being well built right from when in the sixth grade, he was nicknamed Arnold Schwarzenegger by his friends. He shortened it to make it Ano, his artist name.

RANJIT DAHIYA | MUMBAI

Ranjit Dahiya is a communication designer whose forte lies in his ability to commemorate the rich history of Indian cinema.

ranjit-dahiya-mumbai-street-art

Fun Fact: He drew Nadira, the 50s Bollywood vamp {this photo is taken from shree 420}, to spread awareness about the film stars of yesteryears among to the present generation. Drawn hanging from a scaffolding, he copied the image from the photograph directly onto the wall using a 3’3″ x 3’3″ grid.

TONA | GERMANY

A hamburg based stencil artist, Tona has been involved in street art since 1999, specialising in silkscreen and linocuts.

TONA-germany-street-art

Fun Fact: The kid is looking up to ‘Tona’ {written on the top left corner of the wall.} The artist is said to have arrived with close to 17 kg of stickers and other art materials, and has become popular with the kids in the neighborhood as he freely distributes stickers.

HENDRIK ECB | GERMANY

Hendrik “ECB” Beikirch is well known for his brilliant black and white, larger than life portraits that he has painted all over the world.

Hendrik-ecb--germany-street-art

Fun Fact: This is the tallest Mural in India; the one at Delhi Police HQ at ITO. He also has the tallest mural in Asia to his name.

For more information |

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/st.artdelhi

Website | http://www.st-artdelhi.org/

Photo credits : Soumya Mukherji and St. Art festival FB page