Graffiti, a class apart in terms of art, is making itself conspicuous in Kochi. While it took years to get established, it is now becoming a medium of propaganda, protest, advertisement and so on.
Graffiti became popular after the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Perhaps none would believe that graffiti existed in Kochi much before in the works of artists who used to etch Jesus or Krishna on the sides of roads for a few coins. In Kerala, Graffiti is most used to depict Che Guevara, keeping up with the global trend.
Graffiti may be called as the contemporary mural art. It is art that is mostly reactionary and depicts reaction to a particular happening. There are now various graffiti in Kochi that evokes various moods.
For example, the one on the walls of Maharajas College evokes happiness because it has trees, flowers, birds and all things that make one happy. It has been created by Amara Foundation.
The graffiti along the sides of Goshree road is based on road safety and it is not easy to miss it. DP World has created the graffiti along with schools in the region.
The graffiti on the walls of Amaravathi UP School by Dhruva World of Art highlights the plight of Mahabali who is being chased by street dogs. The graffiti also shows the overflowing dustbins of the Kochi corporation.
The walls of the district jail at Kakkanad carries a graffiti that shows the resurrection of the Phoenix from its ashes. The graffiti by Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology in association with Hermit Studio is a symbolic message to jailbirds to reform themselves.
The graffiti on the walls of SH College shows Jesus Christ hearing music from a headphone. While the artists were apprehensive about the reaction to the graffiti, it evoked good responses showing the reach of this form of art.
On the walls in Kodungalloor and Paravur, Thrikarippur KMK advertised their drama using graffiti. The drama was based on O V Vijayan's work and the walls depicted the characters and the author himself.