Artists see red over posters defacing city wall project
CLEANING UP THE MESS: Karan Nevatia and his friends scrape off the film posters that have been plastered on their murals along Senapati Bapat Marg in Lower Parel
Mahafreed Irani | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; October 28, 2009)
Mumbai: On Tuesday evening, Karan Nevatia and his friends travelled to Lower Parel equipped with dishwashing liquid, knives and water. At 8 pm, the group started scraping off film posters that had been plastered on their murals along Senapati Bapat Marg.
Nevatia and a group of over hundred other citizens had participated in a wall painting event on Sunday, organised by the BMC and the Wall Project, a community of graffiti artists. But within 24 hours after the walls got a facelift, news of several paintings being vandalised broke on the Internet. Paintings of yellow giraffes and white Zoozoos were buried behind gawdy Bollywood kitsch.
Utsavi Jhaveri (19), a media student, was angry when she read about it. Jhaveri, along with her friend Sahil Mehta, went to the wall to tear off the posters. “We had to look for air bubbles between the posters and the wall. The glue made it difficult,’’ said the Lala Lajpatrai College student. “This was one time the BMC had come forward to do something positive with the participation of citizens. Sadly, it was destroyed within a few hours.’’
Calling it blasphemy, angry artists and Mumbaikars protested online against the producers of films Aladin, London Dreams, Gair and Canvas, whose posters had defaced the wall project. An online petition, titled ‘reclaim my wall’, and a movement to tear the remaining posters has been scheduled for Saturday.
On microblogging site Twitter, members tweeted at Aladin’s director Sujoy Ghosh and actor Riteish Deshmukh, after which they immediately apologised. Deshmukh tweeted, “Sincere apologies for the Aladin poster that been put on the wall. Insensitive n incorrect. Will look into it asap. Sorry guys.’’ Ghosh wrote, “Wall posters should be banned or be allowed only at authorised spots. Never again a wall poster. Promise.’’ The producers made sure the films’ posters were removed, following which music director Vishal Dadlani committed to help repaint the walls. Even Amitabh Bachchan’s blog wasn’t spared. A commentator wrote, “Many people are boycotting the film until the damage has been acknowledged and fixed. Hard to support the hard work of filmmakers when the hard work of the artists/painters has been completely disrespected in order to promote the film.’’
air bubbles Aladin Amitabh Bachchan apology artists blasphemy BMC Bollywood Fenil film posters gair and canvas glue graffiti artists karan nevatia knives lala lajpatrai college LONDON DREAMS lower parel dishwashing liquid mahafreed irani media student octobrt 28 reclaim my wall Riteish Deshmukh sahil mehta senapati bapat marg sujoy ghosh Sunday The Times of India TNN tuesday twitter utsavi jhaveri vishal dadlani wall painting event wall project water yellow giraffes zoozoos
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