The Goan Giants Project

As part of St+art Goa 2017, a series of large scale portraits of local Goans was placed strategically across the city. Taking inspiration from the larger-than-life cut-out poster culture of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states, the project was conceptualised by designer and visual artist Hanif Kureshi. It sought to celebrate archetypal Goan faces through a medium that was till then reserved only for famous personalities.

The people featured were all local spotted by Kureshi in his travel across the state. With every figure, including Goan Aunty Maria, dressed in a nighty not very dissimilar to most Goan aunties, the project aimed to reflect the power and importance of the common person, creating a work that would celebrate Goan culture and people in the same way that famous people are.

The project provided a chance for cultural exchange between the southern states, while directing the spotlight towards everyday Goan stories. The cut-outs enticed various reactions from passers-by, mainly since such a grand display of commoners wasn't something the city had witnessed before.

The cut-outs for the portraits were painted by Bollywood Artist Deepak Sarast and team. For the project, they were brought from Sarast’s famed studio in Bangalore and assembled into imposing, 40-feet-tall portraits of regular Goan faces.

This project is also in continuation with the foundation’s goal of empowering hand painting traditions of India, something that is being lost with the advent of technology. Painted movie posters have long been a part of the visual landscape of the country, and has also been a source of livelihood for a lot of people. But over the years this tradition has been diminishing, with lesser opportunities for the artists to sustain themselves.