Painting of party symbols on walls still effective means to reach masses- The New Indian Express
Express message service
VILLUPURAM: In a growing trend of digital political party advertising popping up on all social media platforms, the old school freehand painters who paint on walls are still finding fun in art and playing a role in reaching the remote rural Villages.
36-year-old Senthil Ramakrishnan was a curious artist from childhood, more interested in drawing.
Eventually he continued his career in painting and renamed himself Jack, inspired by the male lead in the film Titanic, who was also an artist.
‘Jack’ was busy painting the walls labeled ‘Vaakalipeer’ (vote) on the house walls in a village near Yenathimangalam while TNIE had a little chat.
“I used to scribble during lessons at school. I was good at math, too. But somehow in high school I knew that painting was my way of making a living.
I went to Mumbai a few years ago to work on a wall painting project for a school. To be an artist is given by God in my opinion. Nobody can really teach it or learn it like any other subject, ”said Jack as he effortlessly drew the lines for the PMK flag on the sides of the two sheets of paper.
Together with Jack was P Gopi (35), a friend and co-artist, who painted the two-leaf symbol of the AIADMK on the walls. Gopi is a temple artist who paints statues, composite temple walls, and the ceiling.
But by the time the election season came, Gopi had been booked to paint political party logos and slogans as well as election awareness messages.
This work transit, as Gopi says, “actually relaxes the mind because when painting temples one has to pay full attention to drawing the intricate figures and painting them flawlessly. But elective painting is different, the logos are very familiar, and we could just experiment with new strokes, styles, and fonts. The only problem is the scorching sun in summer when elections are held. “
Both Gopi and Jack earn 500 rupees per house each for painting the party’s logo with the shades of the flags of the Allied parties and text asking to vote for the party. They paint around 50 houses on an average day and sometimes even more when party cadres insist on painting more walls, Gopi said.
At a time when digital banners are widely used even for small gatherings or events, the sustainability of artists like Gopi and Jack is being questioned, but it’s never the problem, Gopi said.
“We don’t choose to work with or against any particular party. As long as the order is placed and the payment is correct, we paint for everyone involved. In March alone we worked for DMK, VCK, AIADMK, PMK and DMDK in Gingee, Tindivanam, Villupuram and Thriukovilur, ”said Jack, adding that wall paints are above all a direct way of claiming political identity through the painted symbols .