St+art Mumbai Festival presents Unveiling of the Dadasaheb Phalke mural in Mumbai by Mr. Amitabh Bachchan

One of the largest street artworks in India

Mumbai,11thDecember 2014:November 2014 saw 20 Indian and International artists take to the streets of Mumbai, in Bandra, Dharavi, Pedder Road, Borivali and Kandivali with an objective to educate and create awareness about this niche form of art. Over the month St+art Mumbai accomplished just this!

The festival closes on a high, with a120x150foot mural of Dadasaheb Phalke; the father of Indian cinema, on the prominent MTNL Building at Bandra Reclamation. The mural was unveiled by none other than Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan. In attendance was also Mr.Piyush Pandey (Executive Chairman &Creative Director for Ogilvy & Mather India and South Asia).A project of this scale presented several logistical challenges. The wall is 120×150 feet and to cover the whole facade a total of 800 litres of paint were used. This would not have been possible without the support of Asian paints who provided the artists with an unlimited supply of paint. Also, because of the height at which the artists needed to work, two boom lifts were provided by Aria Aerial Platforms which worked simultaneously to complete the mural in 10 days.

Bollywood is an integral part of the city’s identity yet several people do not know about the origins of this cinematic art-form. This mural is a tribute to the man who sowed the seeds for the industry which the city thrives on today and one which has put India on a the global map.

Dadasaheb Phalkewas an Indian producer-director-screenwriter; starting with his debut film, Raja Harishchandra in 1913 and 101 years later the city of Mumbai still feelsthis very influence. “The Bollywood industry is one of the largest film industries in the world today, but only few know about Dadasaheb Phalke. It is important that young generation values Phalke’s efforts and see him in this new avatar,”says Hanif Kureshi, Creative Director of St+art Mumbai.

Mumbai’s love affair with Bollywood transcends all socio – economic barriers and touches people on an emotional level, very much like street art. The mural beautifully showcases the synergy of street art and Indian cinema and the significance it plays in not just Mumbai, but also our country today.

Ranjit Dahiya is no stranger to Bollywood, as he is founder of the Bollywood Art Project (BAP) and hence the perfect artist for this mural. He also had the support of other artists, namely Yantr from Guwahati, Munir Bukhari from Rajkot and Nilesh Kharade from Sholapur.

Ranjit says “The MTNL building is an iconic structure considering it is right off the western express highway and sea link and visible to everyone that passes by. As soon as the St+art India Foundation gave me the opportunity to work on this building I was ecstatic. Keeping Mumbai and its love for the film industry in mind,the one individual that I instantly thought of was Dadasaheb Phalke- the father of Indian cinema, who truly deserved the most prominent mural.”

Ms. Vidya Vaidya, Trustee of Celebrate Bandra worked tirelessly to work out all the necessary permissions for this project, along with the support of Mr. Peeyush Agrawal, Executive Director MTNL & Ms. Neeta Aspat from MTNL.

When it comes to Indian cinema, it does not get any bigger than Dadasaheb Phalke. The Government of India instituted the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, for lifetime contribution to cinema, in his honour in 1969. The award is one of the most prestigious awards in Indian cinema and is the highest official recognition for film personalities in the country.A postage stamp, bearing his face, was released by India Post to honour him in 1971.

“In today’s times the landscape of every city is looking monotonous and boring. It is heartening to see that some people are making efforts to bring some aesthetics to our lives. I’m delighted that of the many such projects there is one dedicated to Dadasaheb Phalke – The father of Indian Cinema. I salute the artist Ranjit Dahiya and the entire St+art team. It is only befitting that Mr.Amitabh Bachchan has kindly accepted to inaugurate this work of art,” says Piyush Pandey

St+art Mumbai is an initiative by the St+art India Foundation, a non-profit organization, founded by Arjun Bahl, Hanif Kureshi, Akshat Nauriyal, Thanish Thomas and Giulia Ambrogi. This was the foundations second such initiative, after the first successful run of St+art Delhi earlier this year.

“The MTNL building is quite iconic in terms of its visibility. You can see it from several parts of town – from across the sea link, even from rooftops in Dharavi. So this mural is a really big moment for the city of Mumbai. It will definitely lead to a lot of conversation,” says Akshat Nauriyal, Content Director of St+art Mumbai.

They believe in working together with Central & State Governments as well as International bodies to build and encourage artists from our country. One of the core aspects of the festival is to spread awareness, educate and act as a platform for artists, both Indian and International, to exchange their ideas, cultures, experiences and styles of street art that lead to a positive change. It aims to establish a skill enhancement center for the educational and vocational training in art related topic and various art mediums.

“St+art India Foundation’s vision is to change the urban landscape of India by making it more colourful, interactive and positive. Earlier this year, St+art India Foundation took baby steps in Delhi and today with the inauguration of the iconic Dadasaheb Phakle’s mural by the legend himself, Mr. Amithabh Bachchan our foundation’s vision has been re-emphaisesd. We are keen to work with the central and state government’s to be part of this global movement,” adds Arjun Bahl, Festival Director for St+art Mumbai

To know more about the festival log on to: www.st-artmumbai.org or www.st-artindia.org Follow St+art Foundation at: Instagram: @StartIndia #startmumbai

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/startindiafoundation
For further details contact:
media@st-artindia.org
– Vidisha Noronha: vidisha.id8@gmail.com +91 9820829017
– Aaron Alvares: aaron.id8@gmail.com +91 9819263375
– Brent Gomes: brentg.id8@gmail.com + 91 9920313992

St+art Mumbai is proudly supported by –

  • Asian Paints
  • Adidas Originals
  • ISDI (Indian School of Design & Innovation)
  • Celebrate Bandra
  • Upadrastha House
  • Impressario
  • Pepsi MTV Indies
  • Skarma
  • Miller

Institutional partners –

  • Goethe Institute
  • Polish Institute, New Delhi
  • Swiss Arts Council – Prohelvetia
  • Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Norwegian Embassy
  • Camoes Instituto Da Cooperacao E Da Lingua Portugal
  • EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture)
  • Google Cultural Institute

About St+art India Foundation:
The St+Art India foundation is a not-for-profit organization that works on art projects in public spaces. The aim of the foundation is to make art accessible to a wider audience by taking it out of the conventional gallery space and embedding it within the cities we live in – making art truly democratic and for everyone.

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