Recently was invited to cover Kolkata Street Art Festival which has transformed the streets of Kolkata and made them into artistic marvels. This initiative was organised by Berger Paints India and was assisted by eminent painter Jogen Chowdhury who was ably supported by Barun Saha & Rintu Roy. They guided a group of artists who transformed the walls of neighbourhood in the heart of Kolkata, country’s city of joy. With Murals they painted on the walls of Kolkata, they created a contemporary open air, public art gallery.
We started the blogger meet at Berger House on the legendary Park Street in Kolkata where we told about the entire initiative. Berger Paints has taken up this campaign mainly because they like to transform spaces into beautiful works of art! It need not be just your drawing room, it could be your street corner too! They showed examples of how dilapidated walls in Kolkata have now become much more interesting thanks to art put up on them by well known artists and students trained by them.
After light refreshments, we moved to the 1st site of Kolkata Street Art Festival which was the legendary Eden Gardens stadium which is the largest stadium in India (and probably the world!) with over 110,000 capacity. It was great to see that Berger Paints dedicated the wall outside Eden Gardens stadium to achievements of India in not just cricket, but also football and boxing. What is notable is that they didn’t try to create a caricature of a prominent sports person which would have belittled the achievements of their peers.
The 2nd site of Kolkata Street Art Festival was the Exide Factory site. Here we could see wall paintings which are more dedicated to the fantasy world. There were paintings of apsaras, greenery, water bodies and of course Owls which are considered to be lucky in Bengali mythology. It was also wonderful to see renowned painter Barun Saha pose with one of his creations here.
All the walking did famish us and we decided to stop for some well deserved lunch at Mainland China near Ballygunge. This was good time for bloggers to catch up with other bloggers and appreciate the wonderful initiative of Berger Paints India which has put Kolkata on the Street Art world map on par with Lisbon, Atlanta and Brussels among others.
Berger Paints India wants to not just paint city walls with their street art but also other icons of Kolkata like Trams and Metro Station Walls. They wish to cover close to 100 walls by the end of this year. At least 10 of them will be surely ready before the Durga Puja in the end of September.
Most of the sites we visited during the walk were completed paintings. So we wished to see something which was work in progress. Berger Paints team took us to Ballygunge Tram Depot site which was work in progress. It was great to see painters work in some extreme weather conditions without losing any dedication towards their work.
The last site which we saw during the Kolkata Street Art Festival walk was the Topsia site. Originally it was like a dump yard but Berger Paints team took up on themselves to transform the barren walls to amazing piece of arts. What was interesting here was that art students were working on these master pieces.
I loved this concept by Berger Paints India to create Kolkata Street Festival to clean & beautify the prominent walls of Kolkata with the colors of Berger and secondly, to give an opportunity to the artists of Kolkata to showcase their talent in beautifying their city! Don’t miss to see them when you are In Kolkata next!
To know more about Kolkata Street Art Festival organized by Berger Paints India, check out their Facebook Page regularly.