Kochi: A certain Prem Nazir with a gun guards the entrance to the Fort Kochi ferry service. Yet on another wall, sitting high and mighty on a royal throne is the familiar face of Mr Bean. But no matter how big a Nazir fan you are, you may not remember the evergreen actor posing with a gun like in the James Bond movies. Nor has Mr Bean ever donned the traditional mundu and sat on a throne.
Walk down the narrow lanes of Fort Kochi and you will find these and more such quirky graffiti that have been signed by Guess Who. Fort Kochi is now home to many such art works that bring in a fusion of cross-cultural elements. By making Bob Marley hold a veena, Guess Who is able to play with your imagination and tickle that funny bone.
The name is apt as you are left guessing who is the artist (or artists) behind the work, who is the famous personality shown in the graffiti, and how do they get to sneak into our roads and come up with these art works without being caught red-handed?
Virtually nothing is known about Guess Who, other than the fact it wants to give more attention to art rather than the artist. These wall graffiti were first noticed during the 2012 Kochi Biennale and now when the second edition of Biennale is in full swing at Kochi, so is the anonymous group of Guess Who.
Contrary to popular belief, Guess Who is not part of the Kochi Biennale. When asked about the graffiti, Riyas Komu, secretary of the Kochi Biennale, said that such actions always happen in the background of major art events.
“Even for something like Guess Who to come to Kochi, the Kochi Biennale had to happen,” he added.
In lines of Guess Who graffiti, is another banner that says “My grandfather is not an artist.” Again found in random places at Fort Kochi, this banner is seen as counter-reaction against the established system of Kochi-Muziris Biennale. However, Komu rubbished off such notions and said that it is an “atrocious comment.”