Veteran artist wields the brush for poll graffiti

Chothy Maash, 74, painting the wall for a candidate at Eroor.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

“Maybe, this is my last election graffiti,” says Chothy K.P., 74, Chothy Maash to his acquaintances in Eroor, as he takes the brush off the wall. But those who have known him for some time do not agree.

Chothy Maash is not a regular graffiti artist.

He worked as an art teacher in a school near Pallikkara from 1968 to 2000.

But he has remained a staunch and committed supporter of the Left all these years.

“The relation is long and strong,” he says.

“We were landless until we got tenancy rights over the 10 cents of land we possessed, in the 1970s. We were cultivating paddy on someone else’s fields in Amballoor, but subsequently came to purchase that too. I remained part of the Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union till 2000,” recalls Chothy Maash, whose art schooling was at RLV College of Music and Fine Arts.

During the Emergency, he drew a caricature of Indira Gandhi, but as people got to know about it, fear got the better of him and he went into hiding after tearing off the work.

“But that was when I started doing political graffiti,” he recalls. “A couple of acquaintances near Chottanikkara shielded me,” he recalls. He has done election graffiti ever since and won the election to the local body on CPI(M) ticket, first in 1988 and then in 1995 representing ward No. 8 of Thripunithura municipality before it was reorganised.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 9:10:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/veteran-artist-wields-the-brush-for-poll-graffiti/article33173030.ece

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