Painter Jogen Chowdhury Spearheads ‘Kolkata Street Art Festival’


Kolkata: Eminent painter Jogen Chowdhury will guide a group of artists to paint the city’s walls in prominent locations in an effort to kickstart a graffiti art and mural movement.

Named ‘Kolkata Street Art Festival’, the campaign “is a unique concept on the lines of similar street art and wall graffiti campaigns in cities like London, Chowdhury told a press meet here yesterday.

“For a city like Kolkata with its own distinct characteristics, it is important,” the Kalidas Samman recipient said. A wall near Exide Crossing is already being decorated with a mural as part of this campaign.

Chowdhury, however, cautioned against visual clutter, saying, “We must ensure that the murals and the graffiti are properly maintained and not defaced or hidden by a hoarding or posters pasted on them. We have to make it a year-long movement.”

“We have also seen how paan masala stains have impeded the beautification drive of the civic authorities and need to sensitise people against such bad habits. The festival will thus sensitise people to keep their places and surroundings clean and beautiful,” he said.

Two trams and important locations like walls at Exide Crossing and Ballygunje Tram Depot, Metro station walls in three places in the north and south, a wall at New Alipore will be adorned with colourful weaving patterns and designs by 15 artists under guidance from Jogen Chowdhury.

KMC Mayor-in-Council Debashis Kumar said, “The civic authorities will extend all help in beautifying the city and enhance the aesthetic appeal.”

Abhijit Roy, CEO of a paint company, and organiser of the street art festival, said, “The mission is to paint more prominent walls in the coming years. We are seeking to collaborate with local authorities and government bodies to ensure that the works are cleaned throughout the year.”  Kolkata Street Art Festival had earlier taken place in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.