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Badal's 3D murals on Covid-19 take Bengaluru by storm

Badal’s 3D murals on Covid-19 take Bengaluru by storm
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Badal’s 3D murals on Covid-19 take Bengaluru by storm

Highlights

In the Northern part of Bengaluru, freshly painted murals show human faces wearing medical masks or applying hand sanitisers, part of an art initiative to sensitise the people in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the city

In the Northern part of Bengaluru, freshly painted murals show human faces wearing medical masks or applying hand sanitisers, part of an art initiative to sensitise the people in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the city.

Bengaluru has witnessed an alarming rise Covid-19 cases with third of daily positive cases reporting from the city.

While Karnataka reported 3.61lakh positive cases, 1.35 lakh are from Bengaluru, piling pressure on the ill-equipped health system. When the first case was reported in Bengaluru, the people largely remained unaware or sceptical of dangers of the new infection.

While the frontline warriors were battling to contain the virus' spread in the capital, 40-year-old Badal Nanjundaswamy grabbed his brush to paint the city's walls to illustrate the need for people to take action.

"In the third week of March, I was in Goa. Covid-19 was yet to make its full impact. After returning to Bengaluru, I was under 14 day home quartinine During this period, I locked up myself, took out my brush and started murals inside my house walls.

I depicted my reflections on the pandemic in my work. When the global pandemic was announced in March, people were unsure of how it might affect them. The frontline warriors were doing their bit, I wanted to contribute my mite," says Badal Nanjundaswamy, a popular street and mural artist in India's own Silicion Valley.

With worsening coronavirus situation in the city, the artist took to the streets to create visually reinforcing the message that people should wear masks to protect themselves in the pandemic. "We may not be frontline warriors, but artists can help by creating something useful that can make a difference," says Badal.

Works of the artist are masterfully crafted on walls and roads with messages of hope and warning. Walking through Bengaluru streets one might stumble upon a lifelike, terrifying 'corona cell' peeping at you or a bearded man strumming guitar from a balcony while one side of the mural with heart-shaped balloons with the word "HOPE" inscribed on the wall. Badal's works, perhaps, indicate a silver lining in the dark clouds of corona.

Some murals depict people washing their hands, Corona in chains and wearing a mask, his 3D artwork often blurs the line between art and reality and interacts with its surroundings. They depict fear and fury, solidarity and hope and gratitude to health care workers. Some have dose of humor in riot of exuberant colours.

One cannot miss his murals splashed with bright colours in Koramangala, Dasarahalli, Town Hall, Banerghatta Road, Yellahanka, J C Nagar or Sanjaya Nagar. Badal is known for using perspective, and he creates 3D artwork that feels like the objects of his imagination are jumping out of the wall, at once drawing people's attention.

The graffiti paintings which have been splashed on walls Badal's efforts to sensitisse people and his contribution towards raising awareness on the pandemic. The themes are centered around Covid-19 - at once striking, vibrant and even amusing commentary on the medical health crisis .

Badal is a street and mural artist specializing in 3D art. A graduate of fine arts from Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts, he began his art journey as a young student in school, and developed his techniques through study and persistence. The self-taught artist has been painting walls for nearly 20 years. Over the years, he's gained a massive following on social media. It takes nearly a whole day to complete one mural. Badal is a man on mission, his brush of creativity inspiring people to stay safe.

"Murals and street art is an important way of spreading positivity and information about the pandemic," says Badal.

"When people walk past murals or walk the street, the art serves as an information or even caution people about the dangers of the new coronavirus and how to prevent transmission," says Badal, who's murals and street art serve as a reminder that efforts against the virus are not over and everyone has a role to play.

"These hard and difficult times will pass. This too shall pass," he said, and "we will emerge stronger once today's moment of crisis subsides."

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