The streets of Mumbai have become art canvasses for a number of emerging artists invited by India’s St+art Foundation for an art festival, in an initiative to aesthetically transform the city into a modern-day masterpiece. With this innovative effort, the foundation and artists together are aiming to make art more egalitarian by “taking art out of the galleries and onto the streets, while also giving the grey landscape of the city a much-needed facelift,” said Co-founder Arjun Bahl while speaking to the Times of India.
For Bahl, street art is the perfect way to reach out to the public because of its simplicity. The event showcases“art in its purest, positive and most democratic form. There are no high walls, it’s literally on the streets for the general public,” he recently told Vogue India in an interview.
The festival, which will last for almost a month is packed with art-related activities including murals, installations, performances and workshops endeavoring to showcase the artworks of 20 of India’s best artists alongside works of 10 internationally acclaimed artists and illustrators.
But the concept behind the event doesn’t only revolve around promoting street art. It is also being treated as a cleanliness drive. “One of our biggest agendas is to go to find spaces which are ignored and dirty, only to clean them up and create something beautiful. People then start taking care of those spaces because the artwork makes it worth saving,” says Bahl.
Other subcultures associated with street art are also being promoted in this event such as B-boying and graffiti art while allowing people to truly understand the self-liberating ethos of street-art, which has always been considered as being outside the confines of ‘true’ art. However, this event not only proves that street-art has the capability to transform, but that it can also be used for a purpose.