The Stewards

Nitesh Kadyan, Nikhil Kaushik, and Anirudh Sharma

Co-founders, Graviky Labs/India

For painting with pollution.

Nitesh Kadyan, Nikhil Kaushik, and Anirudh Sharma

What if art could improve the environment rather than just lament its degradation? Nitesh Kadyan, Nikhil Kaushik, and Anirudh Sharma are hoping to answer that question with Graviky Labs, an Indian firm that uses polluted air to create art supplies. Taking particles captured by a cylindrical device on a car’s exhaust pipe, Graviky has developed Air Ink, oil-based paints, spray paints, and pens that contain pigments derived from carbon soot. In August, Graviky teamed up with Tiger Beer to provide local Hong Kong artists with 150 liters of Air Ink—from 2,500 hours’ worth of pollution—to create street murals. Their products aren’t currently sold commercially. They hope cities will use Graviky’s devices to revamp public transportation. (Photo courtesy of Graviky Labs)

Each 30-milliliter Graviky pen contains 30 to 50 minutes’ worth of air pollution generated by a single car.

Sharma was inspired to create Air Ink when he was living in the United States and his friends in India complained about how heavy air pollution left marks on their clothes.