Although men definitely dominate street art, there is no shortage of talented female street artists creating stunning, hyper-layered and purposeful work. These five women artists in India express themselves through graffiti and murals, presenting their work in the form of murals, pieces, tags, and street art. Their works show that street art can highlight the values that people share or desire to celebrate, as well as serve as a platform for social change and protest.
Bengaluru-based Shilo Shiv Suleman's work is centred on the convergence of magical realism, social transformation, and technology. Suleman has worked extensively with women protesting gender-based violence in South Asia through murals that are an amalgamation of performing and visual arts as well as activism. She believes says that it&rsquos high time that women go out on the streets, reclaim their public space and represent their own stories, fearlessly. "In general, India needs more women artists on the streets, making way for critical social justice conversations with marginalised communities and transforming corners of fear and trauma into a canvas of beautiful art," she said in an interview with Outlook Traveller. She is the founder of The Fearless Collective, which create public art interventions with women & misrepresented communities across the world. One of their projects was based in Pakistan, in places like Karachi's Lyari neighbourhood.
Mumbai based Jas Charanjiva became famous for her piece "Pink Lady". It was an artwork of an Indian woman in traditional dress, wearing a 'Boom' knuckle-buster. It was in response to the Nirbhaya rape incident with the speech bubble - 'Justice, We're coming to get it'. Charanjiva is also the co-founder of Kulture Shop, a platform for Indian graphic artists. Apart from Indian cities, you can also find her art in places like Brazil, where she got together with street artist Lis Ondo and exceuted a global street art project called Wall to Wall Love, with a positive message of peace and understanding on walls.
Anpu Varkey's public art murals can be found in cities all across the country and abroad, from Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, and even Leh, to Abu Dhabi, Hamburg, and Berlin. She is responsible for the eye-catching 158-foot painting of Mahatma Gandhi in the Delhi Police Headquarters in ITO. This was created in partnership with Hendrick Beikirch, a German artist. She has also performed at the big harvest moon outside Bengaluru's Halasuru metro station. She has also done several graphic novels and comics. Jaba, her first graphic novel, was on her companion cat. In fact, her artwork 'Cat' was one of the first finished pieces of the first ever StArt festival in Delhi in 2014, in the urban village of Shahpur Jat.
This Mumbai-based artist made a mark with her project #BreakingTheSilence, which aimed at encouraging people (particularly women) to speak up about the injustices that women suffer in our country. Another pet gripe she wanted to highlight was how Bollywood has generally portrayed women as supporting characters. The multimedia artist enjoys creating art digitally and then pasting it on the walls. You can find her works around Mumbai suburbs.
The Berlin and Delhi-based artist has collaborated with Nike to assist girls in sports. Singh's work is vibrant with neon hues and the characteristic calligraphy of 1980s New York graffiti. Her work can be found on the walls of Berlin, Germany, Delhi, Varanasi, and Kolkata. Singh, aka Dizy, is also a fitness vlogger and a hip-hop dancer. She has participated in events around live street art at block parties held in Strasbourg and hip-hop festivals like the Stamp Festival in Hamburg.