Now this is what you call art!
In a city which holds to its traditional roots ever so stubbornly, introducing something which is modern and unseen of can turn out to be a huge challenge. However, these guys haven’t just held up to their name, they have exceeded every expectation set by the city and more importantly, they have surpassed every limit they had set themselves. Meet the guys from Punestreetart, an exciting graffiti and street mural project started by the talented Harshvardhan Kadam and his fellow artists. With their conceptual clarity and solidity these guys are creating some astonishingly beautiful visual art, a treat to the eyes of every Punekar! Armed with a sheer artistic advantage, these guys are transforming the already beautiful city of Pune into something which will challenge every other city in the creative and colorful aspects. Luckily we got hold of them and succeeded in persuading them to tell us about their project in some depth. Be sure to check them out!
What is Punestreetart exactly? Where did this start?
– PuneStreetArt is an intended community street art project, but we look at it as something that has the potential of becoming a movement someday. The idea of making Pune the mural capital of the country had been floating around in Harsha’s (Harshvardhan Kadam, experienced and reputed street artist) head for a long time, but it found expression as the PuneStreetArt project in January this year.
What is the idea or brainstorming behind this movement to make this successful? Where exactly are you guys hoping to take Punestreetart in the future?
- The idea is to make it a self-sustaining movement, that inspires, acquires and expands its own strength. What we could do with the help of artists who are not from Pune is only a fraction of what we can achieve if all of Pune begins to paint its own walls, with aesthetics and thought, with brilliance and empathy.
Are you guys facing any problems/ any hindrances?
- They all seem negligible after we see the magic that has been happening around us, by itself. How things sort themselves out is a much more interesting phenomenon to observe than how things get stuck.
What about the reaction you are getting from people? Is it what you had expected?
- It is warm, moving and heartening. We hadn’t quite expected it. It is amazing to see how the street art created as a part of this project is connecting so well with the streets – even the people don’t know what we have made or why we have made it, they see the beauty in it, and almost always, the point behind it.
You guys create art in very vague and unique places in Pune, considering this where exactly can we hope to find you guys in the near future? Any spots or locations in mind?
– Unique, yes, and I think it is slightly unfortunate that urban Punekars find a gorgeous space like Kasba Peth vague. It is the oldest part of Pune, dripping with life and thriving around leftovers from centuries ago. The 20-plus walls we have painted there haven’t even started scratching the surface of the opportunities in Kasba. If anything, we would be thrilled if Punekars from the other side of the river begin to visit this locality because of street art, because we know they will be taking back so much more from Kasba. You’ll find us here for a while.
What inspires you guys to do this? Are there any artists you look up to?
- Well, I’m not a visual artist myself so I don’t know of any precedents, but I don’t know if many of us from the PuneStreetArt project do. The cultural context of street art around the world is very different, so are the motivations of international street artists. We realise we don’t need to be anti-social to paint on walls here in our home country. We just need to look at making things deeper and more beautiful.
More than what you are giving to the art, how is this art rewarding you? In what forms/way?
– The experiences that have found us through this journey are probably the best rewards. We have gotten to know so many intense and honest creators, seen them work from up close, all of this is a massive source of inspiration that helps us in our own creative practices. What could be better?