Rehabilitating poster artists of a bygone era

Rehabilitating poster artists of a bygone era

Bollywood poster painters are dwindling away

"The job of film posterwallahs died around 15-20 years ago. Most of them have taken up different professions and it was very difficult to locate them. After wandering in the streets of Delhi, I found some of them but they refused to work with me," Mahmood said.

"Some others agreed. Though they are a handful and some of them are very old, the work they do is commendable," she added.

Mahmood along with her partner, Raul Chandra, launched New India Bioscope Company-a fashion and design conglomerate that is trying to rehabilitate these poster artists.

"It is our first project where we are trying to rehabilitate poster artists who have been forced out of their art and livelihood by modern technology.
They are working with us and designing old posters of the Bollywood masala movies in a new format," Mahmood explained.

"I am not picking up any original poster for my collection. I am just picking up elements and perceiving it the way I want it to be," she added.
The collection encapsulates the drama of Bollywood. The flamboyant and dramatic imagery of hand-painted Bollywood posters and hoardings has been captured in a kitschy manner.

The characters in her collection have the quirks and vibrancy of Indian streets. People, faces, dialogues, conversations, posters and hoardings are her basic elements that come alive in the bold choice of colours.

The collection is divided into two lines-one affordable and one for collectors.
The affordable line includes digital artwork done on clothes, bags, diaries and home décor elements.

As always, Mahmood's work is inspired by very basic and mundane things of life.
Elaborating on this, Mahmood said: "I like very basic things that people don't observe or don't care about. Very small, insignificant things inspire me.

"I like to dramatise very boring things of life and turn them into something significant and bold. This is my forte."

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