When complaints, criticism and even deaths refuse to move authorities, a paintbrush may just work some magic. Renowned street artist Baadal Nanjundaswamy, in his inimitable style, let his paintbrush do the talking, rather mocking, over the killer potholes of Bengaluru. On Friday, the artist assisted by Kannada movie actor Sonu Gowda turned a massive crater into a pond-mermaid installation.
Mermaid in a pothole-pond
Baadal, who hit headlines after he forced the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)- Bengaluru’s civic agency- to repair potholes with his crocodile installation, attempted something similar on Friday. He converted a massive pothole filled with water-thanks to the rain lashing the city- into a pond. In an attempt to wake the authorities from their deep slumber over the killer potholes, Baadal also added a mermaid character to the installation to drive home a point.
Art to mock agencies over potholes
Five people have lost their lives in less than a week in pothole-related accidents in Bengaluru. This year’s rains have been deadly with people getting washed away. While the government- Chief Minister Siddaramaiah included- is defending civic agencies, lives continue to be at peril. With his art installation, Baadal intends to send an impactful message to the civic authorities- act now!
Potholes, roads, blue and green
Ensuring that his artwork does not interrupt traffic, Baadal started the installation early on Friday morning and completed the same by 8.30 AM before peak hours. The artwork did exactly what it intended to do- grab people’s attention, garner support for safer roads and give civic agencies a reality check.
Activism through art
An alumnus of Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA), Baadal Nanjundaswamy has been promoting activism through art. When complaints don’t move thickskinned civic agencies, take to the brush, seems to be the idea. Baadal’s street art and 3D paintings highlighting civic issues have brought him worldwide recognition.
Demand for safe roads in Bengaluru
Friday’s art installation was in the heart of Bengaluru city- the central business district. Baadal turned an ugly, life-threatening pothole right outside the Manekshaw parade ground into a piece of art with an intent. If this doesn’t wake the authorities up, what will?
Story first published: Friday, October 13, 2017, 10:15 [IST]