Wall paintings can be called Murals. They can be created by working directly onto a wall. A characteristic of murals is the way they incorporate architectural elements seamlessly into the artwork. Murals dating right from the Upper Paleolithic Age to the Egyptian era have been discovered. The word 'mural' became more popularly used after the Mexican ' Muralista' Art Movement.
From all the various styles and methods of creating wall paintings – 'Murals'; the best known technique is the fresco, which combines a lime wash and natural water soluble colours. Ajanta – Ellora caves, caves from the Kaimur range, some parts of Uttar Pradesh and the rock shelters of Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh are the earliest evidences of wall paintings in India.
In today’s context, wall paintings serve different purposes. Not only do they bring art into a public space, the artists also receive more recognition. One can find artworks around different parts of the city. They are also used effectively for social causes and political messages. Graffiti – a type of wall painting has often been created against the law, however, now due to their particular style and popularity they are commissioned by pubs, bars and restaurants.
In India they were created by people on the walls inside and outside their homes, identifying their tribes, religious beliefs and so on. Today people can be found commissioning such murals to express their personal choices and individuality. This feature has increased commissioned work amongst artists across the world. Incorporating certain messages and elements according to the theme, hand painted murals serve different purposes for hospitals, corporate offices and schools.
Graffiti style Murals:
Owing to their popularity, graffiti and street art are slowly creating a different genre of contemporary wall painting. Artists like Keith Haring, ABOVE, amongst many more have created a niche for themselves allowing them to take their street art into urban landscapes of the offices of corporate clients. This trend has continued across the world including India.
The BMX Gang regularly does graffiti under the London South Bank Centre, on the River Thames, London.
It is important to understand the various aspects of wall painting which are:
• Creating the visual,
• Materials and tools
• Process of execution.