A 20-year-old boy from Mumbai will represent India at the Street of Styles Festival in Brazil from April 5, 2017 to April 9, 2017. Four years back when he started doing graffiti, he had no idea that in such a short span of time, his name would be listed among the finest graffiti artists from around the world.
Zake, a pseudonym, which he employs to conceal his identity, as is customary among graffiti artists, was raised in Santacruz. He studied at a famous art school in Bandra, Mumbai and had a passion for drawing since boyhood. This passion led to the success which he enjoys today.
The Street of Styles is South America’s biggest graffiti festival. Artists from 25 countries will participate in the festival in a few weeks. And, Zake is the only known graffiti artist from India. He believes that graffiti as an art will thrive in the country after his participation at the event.
“There are talented artists and all they lack is exposure,” Zake said. “When I started doing graffiti, there was no one doing it. And now it is at a point where I am getting a chance to represent India internationally. So, it’s a kind of responsibility to keep to that name and also make most of it,” he added.
He bared it all when he said, “I come from a very humble background. In India, society and class play a pivotal role for art to get acceptance. There are many talented graffiti artists in Mumbai but they are never encouraged to excel. Most people believe that it is a criminal act to ruin the walls and streets. They think graffiti as an act of vandalisation. But I have a very different perception. It a creative outlet for me. The perception of society needs to change. I come from slums. But this doesn’t mean, I will commit some crime,” he concluded.