St+Art India's Hanif Kureshi calls out Budweiser for 'hijacking' street art murals
Hanif Kureshi, co-founder of St+Art India, on Monday, posted an open letter alleging that some of the earliest street art murals in New Delhi have been "hijacked" and converted into advertisements by Budweiser India.
The said letter targets Budweiser's 'murals of tribute' created for ace footballer Lionel Messi.
"It has taken many years for organisations such as ours to build the street art scene in India. One cannot simply hijack it OVERNIGHT. What used to be some of our earliest murals in Delhi - the ones by @okudart and @stencilcity at Hauz Khas Village - have now been turned into billboards for Budweiser overnight," reads an Instagram post by St+art India that also shared pictures of the original as well as the new murals.
It also stated that one of these murals by a Madrid-based artist was on the walls of a primary school. "It is unethical for an alcohol brand to advertise on a school wall," it said, adding that "This is not art. This is blatant advertising in the name of street art".
The social media post has garnered over 19,000 likes, with many artists including lyricist, music composer and singer Ankur Tewari sharing the post on social media.
Responding to the allegations, a spokesperson from Budweiser India told IANS that their intention was to offer an insider's perspective into the G.O.A.T's iconic journey and inspire fans through creative murals that celebrated his journey.
"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 they curated over months and even restored the wall. Our aim was always to offer an insider perspective into the G.O.A.T's iconic journey and inspire fans through creative murals that celebrated his journey. We continue to support the creator community," said the spokesperson.
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