Artists ManilRohit are spreading love and smiles on the city's roads through their painted car
For the next one month or so Delhiites are likely to encounter a work of art placed at different locations across their city. A Scorpio bearing vivid imagery painted in bright colours transmitting ideas on consumerism, sexuality and other issues is being driven around the Capital to give a taste of art to the masses. At its steering wheel is not one but two artist-brothers: Manil and Rohit Gupta, who always work in tandem as ManilRohit and want to be quoted as one too. “People have to come to a space to see art but here it's the other way round. Art is coming to people in this case. We wanted to bring it out of a white cube and make it accessible to people on the streets,” explain ManilRohit.
Active as artists since 2004, this is however their first stint with public art. Currently their canvases — Manil trained in Applied Art at Delhi College of Art and Rohit is a self-taught artist and photographer — are on display at a show “The Nerves Under Your Skin” in Nature Morte, Oberoi Gurgaon. “Our visual vocabulary is just the same. Thought bubbles, slang, graffiti, animation, street art…it's all there, but how people respond to it when brought out of a gallery space changes drastically,” say ManilRohit.
They took about a month to finish working on their vehicle using acrylic and spray cans. The art car first hit the road in the first weekend of June being driven from Delhi to Chandigarh. Encouraged by the response, the duo has now been taking it to different parts of the city. Thus far, it has been to Khan Market and India Gate. “People try to decipher the art and most importantly want to be clicked with it. Somebody wants to sit on the bonnet, somebody stands next to it. We have to get it around to many other places and when we think we have exhausted all its potential, then we might think of selling it.”
The artists gauge people's reaction along the way. They capture people getting clicked, record their views and experience with the car and then upload these images regularly on two Facebook pages — https://www.facebook.com/manilrohit.art and https://www.facebook.com/TheHolographicLoveMachine.
“We have called the car ‘The Holographic Love Machine' and we intend to spread love and smiles wherever it goes and it is doing that. We have been getting comments like ‘THLM....make Delhi free from Road Rage!' or ‘Guys, please shed some love in Bombay too.' The whole thing has gone really viral. We are thinking of getting into more public art projects after this.”
Another project could tumble out of this, but as of now the artists want to concentrate on having a heightened engagement between the masses and their vehicle. (For updates and the schedule of The Holographic Love Machine visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheHolographicLoveMachine)