Painter Shabbu

1 Jul, 2016 - Jyotsna Sharma


This image is of the Inlingua Institute, Konni Chiwa means ‘Hello’. This has been done by Painter Shabbu who is currently working on the Asian Paints Project 2016. So far, Shabbu has painted houses in Delhi, Chandigarh and Jaipur.


Shabbu (Akhlaq Ahmed) was born in Lucknow. In 2002, he left home and ran off to Mumbai, where he made a living selling tea. Alongside this, he also started painting Bollywood posters and hoardings. After a few years he moved to Delhi, where he met fruit juice vendors from his hometown, Lucknow. They asked him to paint the fronts of their juice stalls. These painted fronts of Juice stalls soon became quite popular and other vendors too started requesting him to paint their stalls too.


While in working Delhi on the fruit juice stalls, he completed his schooling and applied for a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at Jamia Milia Islamia University. Subsequently, he earned an MFA degree also from Jamia Milia Islamia. His work painting the juice stalls helped him fund his education.  

In 2010, during the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Shabbu and Hanif Kureshi were commissioned to develop a site of ‘Hand Painted Type’. It was during this time that Shabbu’s work started to get noticed. After this, it was the Street Art Festival started by Hanif Kureshi in 2014 that showcased his work and he has been a part of all the subsequent editions of the festival. His work was showcased in London in 2014, as a part of ‘Alchemy: Handpainted Type’ at the Southbank Centre.


His artwork was a part of the Jaipur Literary festival 2014, and also a part of the Cartist Festival, Jaipur 2016. We hope to see more such interesting projects from Shabbu in the Furture.




Topic: Street Art