Gabor Doleviczenyi has painted nine walls in the city. His goal is to paint 91 more for the Indo-German Jamboree

“Every city needs public art. It is an act to reclaim space,” says Gabor Doleviczenyi, German sprayer and muralist, looking on at his latest work of art Colours Are Back. The water-tank on the terrace of the Visvesvaraya Technological and Industrial Museum painted with quirky motifs in light purple, green and orange, is the ninth wall Gabor has painted in the city. “This took me four days to finish,” he says.

Gabor scaled walls, literally, to paint every part of the tanker. “I chose this spot because a viewer can see it from different perspectives: from the street, up here in the terrace and from the canteen.” Gabor enjoyed the creative process. “In fact, I had some nice conversations with workers and cooks in the canteen over a smoke.”

“Many people have asked me ‘what do your paintings mean’?” laughs Gabor. “A viewer can interpret it as he chooses to.” His paintings are influenced by op-art, eastern European folk art, and a bit of classical typography of the typical New York graffiti movement. In Bangalore for the Indo-German Jamboree, held to mark the 60th anniversary of the Goethe-Institut in India, Gabor says his goal is to paint 100 walls. “Every second day a new wall — that’s my goal during the Jamboree.”

Finding his canvas

Gabor’s canvases include walls of houses of washer women, and garages. He shows me pictures of women washing clothes against the backdrop of brilliantly coloured walls, with the typical Gabor imprint on it. “I approached a mechanic to paint his garage and he said ‘Go right ahead!’ It was great fun painting his garage.” Gabor says he goes for places that are in disuse, like old buildings. “I have seen so many dilapidated buildings since the two years I have been here. I thought, ‘Why not paint these buildings?’”

Gabor says he became a graffiti artiste when “he couldn’t see the horizon anymore because the skies were dominated by high rises and skyscrapers.” But soon he tired of graffiti too. “I got bored with my art work. I wanted to do something different. I believe I have a constantly developing style,” says Gabor, who arrived in Bangalore for the Urban Avant-Garde Street Art project.

Every graffiti artiste has a name referred to as “an alter ego”. In India, Gabor’s pet name is “aam admi”. “I make art for the common people.” Gabor has some other interesting plans. “I want to paint floors, particularly of underground spaces.”

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