Saturday, January 30, 2010

Painting the city beautiful

Painting the city beautiful
Meet the artists who converted the drab and ugly walls of our city into works of art
SHASHWATHI BHANUKUMAR


Bangaloreans who take a trip down Belur and Halebid everyday cannot help but admire the umpteen paintings on the walls of all the government buildings. The credit is usually given to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), but the real heroes are the painters who worked day and night to beautify the walls. Surana College honored the painters on Friday on the occasion of Saraswathi puja.
The band of painters did not just include professional painters but also students fresh out of college! Manjunath completed his post graduation from the renowned Chitrakala Parishat in 2008. He then did some art work in films like Prem Kahani and Psycho. “I heard through my friend that the BBMP was looking out for artists to paint the walls in Bangalore and I was very interested as I love public art,” he said. He then approached Ramesh B T, Chief Engineer, BBMP West, and he landed the job. The paintings at the Anand Rao Circle Flyover and at Yelahanka have been done by this artist. Manjunath wants to bridge the gap between art and the common man. “Most people feel that art is for the intellectual. I have spent most of my time during the PG course in Majestic drawing portraits of common people like vendors etc. I want to send out the message that art is not as complicated as it seems,” he says.
Here is another artist who came all the way from Hampi to paint the walls here. P Vishwanath has just completed his M Phil in Visual Arts from the Kannada University at Hampi. “The BBMP had put ads in the papers for artists interested in the project,” he said. “I painted historical pictures and it was a different kind of experience to paint the walls,” he said.
About 25 painters were honored in all. “We were out of our jobs and were managing with daily wage work. The BBMP helped us to get back to our profession and gave us a new lease of life,” said Sampat, one of the artists. The brain behind the idea, Ramesh B T, was also present and honored by the staff and students of Surana College.

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