Why street art matters in Bengaluru?

The questions: ‘what is art for?’ Or, ‘why man creates?’ have been asked before and answered many times in many different ways. And yet, I want to ask again. It is like the question ‘what is the meaning of life?’ and the only answer to that question that makes sense to me is “forty-two” – the answer that the science fiction writer Douglas Adams brings to us in his book ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. Perhaps, it means that there is no answer, or at least no meaningful answer.

Here, I am sharing photographs of the two kinds of street art in Bangalore that I’ve come across and wanted to discuss with others. One, the walls that are painted by local artists commissioned by the Municipal Corporation and two, the walls that were painted by the students of the Srishti school of Design.

Street art by local artists

Street art by design students

How are they different from each other? Why were these works commissioned? What were people thinking when they first saw these being done? What do people think about them now? I wonder if our appreciation of art, any art comes from the art we’ve seen before or how we’ve learnt to see? Does a work of art speak in the same way to different people, from different educational and class backgrounds? If you’ve been to the Museum of Modern Art in New York or to the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, would your sense of aesthetic be different from the man on the street who hasn’t?


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