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Indian Metal Art At BIG69

Music channel Pepsi MTV Indies has roped in everyone from Reuben Bhattacharya to Gaurav Basu and upcoming designers for #IndiesKvltureProject


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Avinash Jai Singh's art for #IndiesKvltureProject

Avinash Jai Singh’s art for #IndiesKvltureProject

As we’ve noted before, metal and art have an unmistakable connection that’s all about catching the eye of the metalhead. Now, at the first edition of metal festival BIG69 in Mumbai, top and upcoming graphic designers and visual artists from the Indian metal scene have been commissioned by music TV channel Pepsi MTV Indies to create art and merchandize to be showcased and sold to promote the two-day event.

Part of the #IndiesKvltureProject at BIG69 are Reuben Bhattacharya aka Visual Amnesia, Gaurav Basu aka Acid Toad, Aaron Pinto, Aaquib Wani, Avinash Jai Singh and Anirudh Singh aka Nuclear Puke. Says Nikhil Udupa, Indies head of music marketing, “In short, it’s basically an art collective promoting extreme/alternative art. The idea is to provide alternative art with a platform that goes beyond album covers.” While there are limited edition T-shirts and poster prints already up for pre-order as part of the #IndiesKvltureProject, a lot of the graphic art will also be showcased at the festival. Bhattacharya, who is also the bassist of Delhi tech/groove metal band Undying Inc, is also in charge for all the artwork and stage designs at BIG69. Says Bhattacharya about working at the festival, “There is no why to it. This was a no-brainer. I’ve worked with other festivals such as Great Indian Rock, but this is the only all-metal festival that I’ve been part of. The idea was to give this festival its identity.”

Indeed, in addition to Bhattacharya drawing up a huge molten metal monster to serve as the face of the festival, there’s also other art he’s designed, influenced by everything from TV show Breaking Bad to rapper Vanilla Ice. Jaipur-based Anirudh Singh says he was reading a lot of Indian mythology, which is what led him to equate metal with spirituality. Says Singh, who has previously designed merch artwork for Delhi prog metalcore band Colossal Figures, “Heavy metal is life for me. It’s an honor to be part of something this big.” Udupa adds that he hopes to keep the project ongoing, even after BIG69, making it a continuous collection of upcoming art by Indian visual artists.

Ahead of the #IndiesKvltureProject kicking off at BIG69, we spoke to the contributors from the collective and played a word association game. You’ll be as surprised as we are about similar their thoughts were.

Visual Amnesia's art for #IndiesKvltureProject

Visual Amnesia’s art for #IndiesKvltureProject

Reuben Bhattacharya aka Visual Amnesia

Who: The Delhi-based visual artist and bassist for Undying Inc. started Visual Amnesia in 2007 and has gone on to design artwork for everyone from Delhi metallers Joint Family to international acts such as Dutch prog metallers Textures.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word –

Black

  • Metal

Nightmare

  • On Elm Street

Skull

  • Death

Monster

  • Mash

Blood

  • Metal, because it has that metallic taste to it.

Death

  • Reality or truth, because it’s the ultimate reality. It’s very definite.

 

Acid Toad's artwork for #IndiesKvltureProject

Acid Toad’s artwork for #IndiesKvltureProject

Gaurav Basu aka Acid Toad

Who: The Bengaluru based artist and vocalist of death/thrash band Inner Sanctum has been a college doodler turned graphic artist but got much more serious in 2012 after setting up Acid Toad. He’s been ommissioned by bands such as alt metallers Goddess Gagged, extreme metal band Demonic Resurrection and French electro metal artist The Algorithm.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word –

Black

  • Metal

Nightmare

  • Turning into my father

Skull

  • Brain Box

Monster

  • Inside My Pants

Blood

  • Smells funny, when it dries.

Death

  • Inevitable

 

Aaquib Wani's art for #IndiesKvltureProject

Aaquib Wani’s art for #IndiesKvltureProject

Aaquib Wani

Who: The Delhi-based graphic artist and designer is quick to say he doesn’t have any formal education in graphic designing, but did build his way up after being part of the design team at music magazine Rock Street Journal, working under Bhattacharya for three years. Wani, who started out designing artwork for his own metal band Phobia in 2008, has worked with the likes of prog metal band Skyharbor and the metal edition of crowdfunded gig series Control Alt Delete.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word –

Black

  • Metal

Nightmare

  • My artwork

Monster

  • Triple-headed

Blood

  • Period

Death

  • Man

 

Aaron Pinto's artwork for #IndiesKvltureProject

Aaron Pinto’s artwork for #IndiesKvltureProject

Aaron Pinto

Who: The Mumbai-based drummer from metal band Providence and death grind band Gutslit got into album art only recently, kicking off with his mech robot-inspired artwork for Providence’s 2013 EP Vanguard. Since then, the graphic designer for MTV India and Pepsi MTV Indies has also worked with hardcore/prog band Reverrse Polarity, instrumental metal band Pangea and more.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word –

Black

  • Dahlia

Nightmare

  • On Elm Street

Skull

  • Mountain

Monster

  • Inc

Blood

  • Bath

Death

  • To all!

 

Nuclear Puke's artwork for #IndiesKvltureProject

Nuclear Puke’s artwork for #IndiesKvltureProject

Anirudh Singh aka Nuclear Puke

Who: One of the newest designers on the block, Singh started out with helping bands out with artwork in Jaipur after learning his way around PhotoShop in 2010. Since then, he’s gone to design album and merchandize artwork for upcoming bands such as Indore metallers Zero Gravity, Delhi math rock/metal band Kraken and Colossal Figures.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word –

Black

  • Awesome

Nightmare

  • Amazing, for visual representation.

Skull

  • Love them

Monster

  • People

Blood

  • Good color

Death

  • Reality
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