Interns Pranoy Shaiva and Shreyas Nair contributed both words and photographs for this writeup.
Chaitanya Modak an avid art enthusiast and the creator of Bhitti Chitra says“It (Bhitti Chitra ) is my baby. My intention was to bring masterpieces of art out on the street. I wanted everyone including the common man to see these paintings instead of keeping such beauty under the confines of an art gallery”.
“Bhitti means wall and Chitra is a mural or painting. Thus the name Bhitti Chitra explains very well what we exactly do. When people see a wall it’s just another piece of our urban jungle, but when I see a wall I see an empty canvas longing for something beautiful on it.
The inspiration for this project was drawn from his wanderlust, when travelling in European cities like Paris and Rome seeing beautiful sculptures and pieces of art on the way to the market was not something out of the ordinary. This posed the question “why not in India as well?” Chaitanya says, “India is beautiful place to live in and some of the most talented artists hail from our country. Although not valued or revered Indian artists are no doubt extremely talented but their work never reaches the masses and thus this project was a foolproof way to showcase Indian artists and have a greater impact on people’s minds.”
“The students we approached were from JJ school of art, Raheja, Podar and a couple of more colleges. But the actual turnout included students from other colleges as well as the news about this interesting project spread through word of mouth and people showed up with their friends and families”.
The location was ideal as it has long empty wall, shade, some sort of protection from the elements and plenty of audience; as it is frequented by joggers and people out on a leisurely stroll everyday.
This wall is not only an art class but also a history class as each painting which might seem randomly chosen by the untrained eye is actually placed chronologically and style wise. The far right end of the wall comprises of modern artists like Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo and such. Walking towards the left of the wall is like a journey back in time. We get to see some of the works of the best master painters known to mankind. Van Gogh, Picasso, Miro, the list goes on.
Similar projects have been carried out before, but this project is unique in its own way due to the types of paintings put up on the wall. Chaitanya tells us with a sparkle in his eye and excitement in his voice, “this project is like a stepping stone for many more projects all over the country, Bhitti Chitra won’t stop till all of India’s empty walls are decorated with masterpieces of art!”