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3-day car painting fest at Eco Park draws admiration

Kolkata: A three-day festival to paint cars with artistic designs began at Eco Park on Saturday.
The motto behind the paintings of cars which has become a popular form of art is to construct a bridge between automobile and art and also to ensure that the owners maintain their cars and do not drive recklessly so that the body of the vehicles land up getting damaged.
Interestingly, the motto of the paintings is closely associated with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's slogan "Safe Drive Save Life". A group of "cartists" have arrived from Jaipur and are painting are Honda Citys and Maruti Zens in beautiful, vibrant colours.
Car paintings have become famous globally. It gained popularity in the US when Harley Davidson motor cycles were painted in bright colours and displayed in New York at the annual Harley carnival.
Himangshu, who heads the team from Jaipur, said there is tremendous enthusiasm among car owners in Kolkata to paint their vehicles in bright colours with designs. "Our motto is to create a bridge between automobile and art. Generally, brushes are used to paint vehicles but also spray paintings are done if desired by the owners. The paintings will be done free of cost. We want the owners to maintain their cars and they should not drive recklessly so that the body of the vehicles get damaged," he said, adding: "It expands the cultural domain of people which in turn will help build India culturally."
Himangshu, who is originally a vintage car restorer, started the show two years ago in Jaipur with budding artists. It became popular instantly. Art materials in two huge trucks have been brought from Jaipur.
"We started our journey from Ahmedabad and then we have worked in Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Cochi and Vijaywada," said Himangshu adding: "Everywhere the artist fraternity has given us enormous support. In Kolkata also, they are supporting us to make it a grand success. The cars are painted in different colours and artists make various interesting designs. They take one day to complete a vehicle."
The body of the car serves as the canvas. One or more artists work on one vehicle respectively.
The paintings include abstract art or scenery or scenes from a poem or a play. It is a new experience for the city-based artists.
Sanjukta Kar, a budding artist, said: "We have heard about such car paintings in foreign countries. On Sunday, we will go to Eco Park to see how it is being done."
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