A row has broken out on social media between two desi agencies. The premise of the row is that sacrosanct (culturally embedded) art was removed and new art was painted over it. (Incidentally - one location is a school in Delhi's HKV). Hmm, Budweiser is probably thinking, catch them young and inculcate the beer culture early.
St+art the agency which has started the brawl was also asked to provide a quote by weareanimal which makes us wonder is the case of sour grapes. For some reason, St+art didn't get the job.
St+art has accused @budweiserindia @weareanimalco @wickedbroz of hijacking a street art scene build over years almost OVERNIGHT. Some of their earliest murals at Hauz Khas Village have now been turned into billboards for Budweiser overnight. Here is their full statement.
What are the various stands taken by the agencies and Budweiser
So where do they all stand in this controversy?
Let us examine what is the stance of various players in this controversy.
The Bandra painting of Messi was executed by WikedBroz. Note the location of the painting was done by another agency. WikedBroz in an Instagram post has already expressed regret of painting over an iconic Anarkali Painting.
The Stand of ANIMAL - The agency which commissioned the paintings.
Animal says they were not responsible for scouting the various locations and some other agency finalised the locations. Animal concedes that it is advertising, but again distancing themselves from the blame of destroying the earlier art by claiming the location scouting and rentals were managed by someone else.
This is the mystery part. It seems like the sachin vaze controversy where the cut off is still anonymous in this case.
What about Budweiser?
Budweiser India posted a story on its Instagram handle that read,
“We have always believed in the power of art and have worked with multiple artists over the years to build a strong foundation that is supportive towards the creator community. As part of curating these murals, we reached out to multiple artists, including St+art India, and collaborated with artists that met our creative and commercial direction through these illustrations that curated over months and even restored the walls.
Our aim was always to offer the insider perspective into the G.O.A.T’s (Messi’s) iconic journey and inspire fans through creative murals that celebrated his journey. We continue to support the creator community."
What about BAP?
I haven't yet seen any public resposnce from BAP or Ranjit. But someone told me it was Ranjit's team themselves who did the white wash of the Anarkali painting so the wickedbroz could carry on their Messi Mural.
So the main question is who are the stakeholders of Public Street Art.
Can anyone with political power or corporate money decide what goes on our wall? How much rights do St+art has to decide on what is appropriate art and what is subtle or blatant advertising.
Many of these BAP projects with Bollywood personalities were not appreciated by the native's here. The natives, some of them are the third generation, the natives here haven't seen a Bollywood movie in their life, they really don't relate to the same.
But football is loved by the Bandra buggers. Did Budweiser correct the culture which was forcefully appropriated by the BAP Project?
UPDATE FROM BUDWEISER ON 8th April 2021
It seems Budweiser India has decided to rehire the artist and gain re-paint or restore the original paintings.