With its own language, customs, and codes, ‘Bollywood’: the name for the Bombay-based commercial film industry, is virtually a dreamland, an alternate reality – far removed from the drab world that we inhabit. It is a world with infinitely more music, drama, and spectacle than reality could ever accommodate. Ever since its inception, nearly a hundred years ago, it has publicized its products through vivid hand-painted movie posters depicting gaudily dressed heroes, leering villains, or simpering virginal heroines. The Art of Bollywood presents a vast collection of these engaging, hand-painted movie images that include the seldom-seen posters to rare images of street publicity and cinema displays. These unique visual images are accompanied by the text offering a detailed discussion on the works of key artists who produced these paintings. In this regard, it is the first comprehensive overview of a previously neglected, undervalued artistic genre.
Rajesh Devraj is a Mumbai-based writer and filmmaker who, besides working in advertising and television, has authored several screen plays.