I’ve travelled quite a bit around the world and within the US and the one thing that I never miss to capture on camera are murals. If I spot one, I quickly run towards it to take a stand-alone photo, selfie or posed picture. I absolutely love murals!
They are not easy to create and not easy to ignore either. Big, beautiful artwork on large building, wall, window and ceiling canvases always add character to a landscape. These urban expressions appear as if they are calling out to passersby to be noticed with messages that can be interpreted by the viewer in any way – just like all forms of art.
I remember being mesmerised by the frescos inside the Louvre in Paris and the relief murals in the tombs of Egypt. Inside the Louvre, Renaissance wall art where large portions of ceiling, and wall had perfectly proportional human figures and the correct amount of intricate shading captures every visitor’s imagination. Whereas, in the dark Egyptian tombs, relief art in earthy colours with drawings of royal family members, their ceremonies, and other symbols and motifs have their own lure.
When I look at these large canvases, I always like to wonder about how the artist planned the project and then executed it.
Did he or she have measuring tools to get the proportions right?
How did they climb the wall to reach to its corners? Did they use a ladder or a large crane or some kind of lifting device?
What did their mixing palette look like?
How many brushes did they have?
Did they have a vanity set of paints?
I once participated in a community mural painting project – The Wall Project – way back in 2009 – in Mumbai city. Surprisingly, the local government promoted the painting activity where citizens brushed the neglected sidewalls of Tulsi Pipe Road – a very busy road – often in a state of traffic jam – in the heart of the city.
I loved how some artists, in the later Wall Project drives, included the dilapidated and worn-down parts of the wall to enhance their paintings. For example, a hole was converted into an eye, a long crack running length-wise was converted into a branch.
Check out my Facebook Album on the Great Wall of Mumbai.
This is me and my mural (a fledgeling Twitter bird) at the project – Photo credits go to Netra Parikh who shared these on Facebook.
Sadly the mural is no more and the last time I checked, large portions of the wall were being used as a public urinal.
Since then, I have always wanted to paint another wall. I finally got a chance to paint another one only in 2016, when my mom allowed me to do up my bedroom. So I painted a unicorn on my wall.
Here is what it looked like – of course, it wouldn’t have been possible without her finishing touches.
Below is a collection of some more murals I’ve photographed through the years. Which one is your favorite and can you guess the country/city they belong to?