Nowadays, the buzz is all about `art movies`. And by that we don`t mean the usual indie house hits that have khadi clad, jhola bearing, bespectacled, Left leaning types discussing the Fellinesque `nuance` or the Bergmaneque `technique` in coffee-houses.
Fida over Madhuri
Art and cinema are two totally different fields-- or so we used to think.
The line separating movies and art is slowly but surely blurring. M.F. Husain, is first and foremost a painter. However, equally well documented are his off-canvas escapades including the barefoot painters absolute devotion to the leading actress of Hindi films Madhuri Dixit. It was this well-known obsession with the luminous Ms. Dixit that caused M.F. Husain to turn to cinema. His debut celluloid venture, `Gajagamini` is Husain`s cinematic homage to the Maharastrian beauty.
Earlier this year, Payal Kapoor along with sister Priya Jain organised the art and cinema show in which over 80 artist exhibited their cinema inspired creations. The main purpose of the exhibition was to showcase the synergy between cinema and art. Characters and scenes from Bollywood were frozen in time by the swish of the brush of the artist on their canvas boards.
Artist Sanjay Bhattacharya was a child artist in Bengali films. His artistic conception of the art-cinema nexus was to capture vignettes from Satyajit Ray`s movies. The zamindari house in `Jalsagar` was transported on to the canvas board of Bhattacharya as it were. Having experimented successfully in this mode, Bhattacharya is now planning a series based on Ray classics like `Pathar Panchali`, `Devi` and `Gupi Gayen Bagha Bayen`.
Khoj, an annual workshop which is held every year in Mumbai seeks to encourage artist to work with new media. Here, modern techniques and innovations like digital art and video installations help the artist to continuously broaden their work. Here too, the art-cinema link is obvious. At the workshop held this year, Kay Hassan, a South African artist, worked on Hindi film posters. Michael Shanowski dressed up like a woman and called himself Gulab Jamun!!
Inspired by a scene from the seventies hit film `Sholay`, Naresh Kaupuria created an installation complete with the sound of horses and rifles- a real cinematic presentation on canvas! Winning the Eighth Triennial Award in 1993 for his multi- faceted `Shadighar- Raja Ki Aayegi Baarat`, he has also designed film posters whose style has been influenced by Raj Kapoor`s movie `Mera Naam Joker`.
Art aficionado Abhisek Poddar has a large collection of posters from the forties, fifties and sixties. The posters of yesterday are not the glossy, colourful and shiny posters of today. Yet they exert a subtle charm, beguiling with their stark imagery. Poddar has even held poster shows in Mumbai and Delhi and constantly travels to add to his collection.
Art and CinemaWritten and painted by M. F. Husain
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