Walls don’t lie @ Livemint
"In K.G. Subramanyan’s spectacular new mural, War of the Relics, the invader faces the invaded and the victorious face the defeated in a deadpan dialectic. The 9ft-high, 36ft-wide work spread across the gallery’s walls, consisting of 16 panels divided into eight diptychs, is the master’s meditation on the futility of violence. Despite its panoptic arc—at one end is a scene of rhapsodic horsemen from the Crusades, and at the extreme other end are battle tanks that could well be from 2002’s Afghanistan—Subramanyan’s figures, painted in black acrylic and oil on a white background, are undramatic. They represent war in a quiet, non-fussy way..."
"Among world cities, the mural thrives as public art in Los Angeles and Philadelphia in the US. In 1987, the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA) was set up to preserve the city’s numerous mural walls—all commissioned and painted between the 1950s and 1970s. Many were lost to real estate development. The MCLA’s role now is just to preserve what exists.
In Philadelphia, in 1984, then mayor Jane Golden initiated what came to be known as the “anti-graffiti” initiative. She invited the city’s graffiti artists, who were working without any patronage, for commissioned works in the city’s public sphere. It led to around 2,000 murals.
The difference between graffiti and a mural is in its sanction and ownership. Graffiti, the more democratic art, is not commissioned and its purpose is not spelled out. Murals, in that sense, belong to the owner of the space in which it is created, and to the commissioning authority or person..." continue reading
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