Delhi

Delhi gets its very own Banksy

Part vandal, part urban artist, a young man who goes by the name Daku is making Delhiites think twice as they pass his graffiti on their daily commute.

Along South Delhi’s Khel Gaon Marg, stop signs put up by the Public Works Department have been “modified” by Daku in order to spark conversation. With messages like “stop bribing”, “stop raping” and “stop thinking”, the signs were put up last year have been left untouched by the authorities even today.

The anonymous ‘Indian Banksy’ says being a street artist he notices anything that comes up around the city.

“These stop signs popped up during the Commonwealth Games to make Delhi look international, but I don’t think anyone really stops to look at these signs,” the artist says.

He adds: “There are some stop signs in the middle of the road with no actual use, so I decided to give a meaning to them in a very official way.”

The blue and red signs inspired him to make stickers that said pretending, bribing, thinking, posing, raping, honking and criticising. “These fit well under the ‘stop’ so I converted around 15-20 signs around South Delhi,” Daku says.

The signs not only reflect the artist’s own inspiration but also the surroundings. For instance, a sign outside a popular mall in posh Saket says “stop shopping”.But, vandalism it is. According to the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, Daku could go to jail for six months or pay a fine of Rs.1,000 or both.

Meanwhile, Daku continues to create public art while guarding his anonymity. One of his most recent projects last month was a hand with an indelible ink mark on a raised middle finger, with the caption “Aaj mat do”. The project in Connaught Place was meant to make electors think before casting their votes.


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Printable version | May 18, 2022 1:03:34 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-gets-its-very-own-banksy/article6027803.ece