Here are all the 52 pop murals at Lodhi Art District in Delhi


There are 52 walls with murals near Meherchand Market in central Delhi’s Lodhi Colony as of March 2019, and more are being painted by artists associated with Start India Foundation (St+art India).

They have given the place a fancy name - Lodhi Art District. It must be the only district in India that you can cover on foot in an hour or so. Many of the murals painted over two years ago still look crisp, their bright colours stand out in the sun amid the dull but clean government quarters at Lodhi Colony.

But the elements have done their work on some of the murals. For example, on what used to be the face of a woman, there's a grey blot of plaster after the paint eroded over time. It's not known whether the artists here return to repaint any dying mural which, despite clinging on as a mere shadow of their former celebrity selves, still look beautiful, like a rare fossil.

The themes are inclined towards India, but the West is also all over the place. The American graffiti did not come from India, so to speak. The "district" also has a whiff of South American towns where the murals hide the turmoil behind those walls.
But in a new location and context such as the Lodhi Art District the murals can be enjoyed as original products of pop culture, free from pretension.
Take a look.

Unless mentioned, the descriptions of the murals and their creators were taken from the location guide shared by St+art India. Includes minor edits for clarity.



The Tourist by Avinash Kumar and Kamesh Bhagatji (top two)
The inspiration for this wall comes from people's dependence on social media and smartphones. The guy in the mural is taking a photo of people passing by. Avinash Kumar and Kamesh Bhagatji are students of Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda. 


Lavanya by Hendrik "ECB" Beikirch (top)
Hendrik "ECB" Beikirch iconises anonymous people through portraits. Lavanya is inspired by Vimla, a woman who sells paranthas at a market in Lodhi Colony. This mural has faded over time.



Dead Dahlias by Amitabh Kumar (top two)
Amitabh Kumar builds narratives around Indian folklore using the characters he creates.



Original Aboriginal by Reko Rennie (top two)
For this mural, Reko Rennie worked in collaboration with local sign painters to create geometric patterns that trace back his roots to the Kamilaroi people, the indigenous inhabitants of Aboriginal descent in Australia.


Amma by Blaise (top)
Blaise chose to make the portrait of a mother figure having diverse manifestations. It is a portrait of his own mother, and "mother nature", carrying the memories of lost lands, and depicting poor migrants living in cities.


Don't Let This Symbolism Kill You by Nafir (top)
Nafir's work is influenced by traditional Iranian art and culture and focuses on social issues. He has worked around themes of women empowerment across the world.



Order In Chaos by DALeast (top two)
DALeast is a Chinese artist whose unusual paintings, which are sometimes hundreds of feet across, can look 3D and as if they were created out of thousands of tiny metal shards, but in fact they have been spray-painted onto a flat surface. Here, he uses his trademark style to express the one most intense characteristic of India - that of order in chaos, depicted through the powerful movement of the birds.



Padma by Chifumi (top two)
Chifumi’s work can be recognised by his signatory imagery of massive hand gestures on walls. For his mural here, Chifumi incorporated the symbolic Indian hand gesture "padma mudra" mixed with the Khmer patterns from Cambodia.


From Your Strength, I Weave Beauty by Shilo (top)
Shilo runs The Fearless Collective, which uses art to speak out against gender violence. The Sewing New Futures team engaged survivors of human trafficking in Najafgarh in a participatory process to help bring this piece to life.


Latibule by Tanmay (top)
A parallel universe, where gods didn't create humans and humans didn't evolve, but instead got stuck in the evolutionary chain, this mural shows the Earth in its pristine and untouched form, uncorrupted by humans.


Time Changes Everything by Daku
This typographic piece ingeniously visualises the concept of time by playing with letters that cast an evolving shadow through the day, speaking metaphorically of all the things in life which change over time. Street artist Daku is also known as India's Banksy.



How Is Global Warming by Gaia
Gaia looks at climate change and environment sustainability through this mural, exploring the impact of greenhouse gases, global warming and globalisation on the planet. Gaia grew up in New York City and is a 2011 graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art with a Bachelor in Fine Arts.


We Love Dilli by Lek & Sowat and Hanif Kureshi (top)
Drawing inspiration from the festival of Holi, Delhi and the children who play cricket around this site every day, Lek & Sowat made Sanskrit cyphers as a background over which Hanif Kureshi then painted "We love Dilli" in Hindi. Lek is a French graffiti artist, a member of Da Mental Vaporz crew, who was lucky to live in Paris in the 80s, when the city cradled many graffiti artists. Sowat is a Franco-American graffiti artist who matured in the surroundings of Marseille and Los Angeles, inspired by Chaz Bojorquez, one of the major figures in Californian graffiti who developed “Cholo writing”, a calligraphy created in the 1940s and intended to mark out the territories of Latino gangs. Hanif Kureshi is the artistic director and co-founder of St+art India Foundation.



Visions of Altered Landscapes by Aaron Li-Hill (top two)
This mural from Canadian artist Aaron Li-Hill is about extinction of species and climate change.




Balance in Mind and Spirit by Saner (top three)
On the sides, a man and a woman represent the order and balance in the universe, their clothes and adornments identify Mexican and Hindu traditions that create a bridge between the two cultures. Saner often uses masks in his work, and masks are integral to Mexican culture and are often used as a tool to reveal the true nature of human beings using animal forms. Born as Edgar Flores, Saner was raised in Mexico City, where he had a chance to discover graffiti art which directed him to earn a degree in graphic design from the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico.



Vishwaroopam by Inkbrushnme (top two)
Inkbrushnme explores concepts from Indian mythology - a recurring theme in his work. Vishwaroopam is an all-encompassing omniform of Lord Vishnu and marks the beginning of the 18-day battle of Mahabharata. Harshvardhan Kadam is a multi-disciplinary visual artist from India, travelling across the world making large scale artworks. His works have mythology deeply embedded with a contemporary voice which gave birth to a unique style. He and his brother Rajvardhan run Inkbrushnme Studios.


Dreams of India by Gabriel Specter (top)
Gabriel Specter used the wall to represent the link between reality and dream states. The mural depicts clouds and waves that flow limitlessly, leading to the empty centre of the arch like a gateway for passing through from one world to another. Mr Specter is a Brooklyn-based artist recognised for taking an anthropological approach to his work.



Facing Walls by Bicicleta Sem Freio (top two)
Bicicleta Sem Freio painted two facing walls, inspired by local Indian flora and fauna. Bicicleta Sem Freio (Bicycle Without Brakes) is a Brazilian design and illustration collective that has done projects for Sony, Nike, Absolut and Converse. Douglas and Renato, who did the Lodhi Art District work, and Victor met for the first time at a visual arts course in Federal University of Goias, Brazil.



Katha-Crazy Twins by Harsh Raman Singh Paul (top two)
Harsh Raman Singh Paul merges the ancient Indian art of Kathakali, a storytelling dance form from southern India, which uses gestures and no words with today's medium of no words - street art. Mr Paul is creative director at Soledition, a sneaker and streetwear festival.


Pink by Dwa Zeta (top)
This mural by the Polish artist duo Dwa Zeta is a symbol of women empowerment. Dwa Zeta used bright pink as the main colour to figuratively mark the feminine element in a public space. Dwa Zeta comprises Karolina Zajaczkowska and Stawek Zbiok Czajkowski. Their work often explores and critiques the nature of existing orders and structures.


See Through, See Beyond by NEVERCREW (top)
The astronaut atop the wall works as a metaphor for someone who can see things from a different perspective. In this case, he is a witness to all the daily activities at Lodhi Colony. NEVERCREW is a Swiss-based artists duo comprising Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni. They have been working together since 1996. NEVERCREW's work focuses on the relationship between people and nature, in particular on the effects of human attitudes on the environment.



Sans Serifs, No Letters by Niels Shoe Meulman (top two)
For this wall, Niels Shoe Meulman did something he has never done before - paint a poem written by himself. He used "calligraffiti", an art form he developed and pioneered, to create this piece. Mr Meulman is known for his gestural paintings that reveal vivid traces of graffiti and calligraphy. A graffiti pioneer from Amsterdam, Mr Meulman has worked with New York counterparts such as Dondi White, Rammellzee and Keith Haring in the 1980s. Influenced by painters of abstract expressionism, he gradually found his own way to translate street attitude to gallery walls.



Swachh Bharat by Painter Kafeel (top two)
Local sign painter Kafeel and his team made a Swachh Bharat (Clean India) themed mural of Mahatma Gandhi, calling on people to keep their homes and public spaces clean. The unique handpainted lettering originally done by Kafeel consists of nine fonts, which when used together recreate the unique multi-coloured look of Indian street lettering. This project was backed by the Central Public Works Department and the Urban Development Ministry, according to St+reet India Foundation.


Colours of the Soul by Senkoe (top)
Mexican street artist Senkoe painted the birds to represent the colourful diversity of the locals. In Mexican culture, birds are considered symbols of diversity, identity and freedom, with a lot of experiences and stories to tell. Senkoe studied pedagogy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, at the same time as he enrolled in graphic design courses and art workshops at the Academy of San Carlos. His sources of inspiration are found in botanical illustration, literature, comics, as well as caricatures, nature and the sea. From them, Senkoe creates anthropomorphic characters and creatures of the unconscious.




Fusion Art by Rakesh Kumar Memrot (top three)
This mural by Rakesh Kumar Memrot in the Gond style of painting emphasises the importance of maintaining balance in the ecosystem. It sheds light on the issue of receding natural habitat that puts animals in danger. Paying tribute to native Indian art with special emphasis on trees, birds and animals, the scale and precision of Mr Memrot’s mural is quite good. He is a graduate of Bachelor of Fine Arts from Jamia Millia Islamia University.

And below are the rest of the murals whose descriptions will be added soon.










Fin.

Thanks to Jayant Kumar, the guy in a brown t-shirt who appears in some of the photos here. Follow journey basket on Facebook and Instagram.

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