Baba Anand is in love with the world of Indian cinema and has used Bollywood as the inspiration for many of his mixed-media three-dimensional paintings. The artist transforms Hindi film posters from the 40's to the 70's, embellishing them with crystals, sequins and the like, and adding elements such as artificial roses and tiger-striped mattes.
Baba Anand is a self-taught painter whose unique style of collage portrays a rejuvenating freshness and originality. His religious pieces utilize traditional images of Krishna and other Hindu deities that Baba decorates with materials such as sequins, crystals and gold and silver dust. These images are then displayed in colorful, highly decorative mattes, using flowers and other unusual three-dimensional objects.
Baba Anand creates a charm that is in marked contrast to the traditional solemnity of religious icons. The effect of this whimsical and jubilant marriage of classical styles with a glitzy, stylish approach is at once spiritual and irreverent. These richly textured works, so vibrant and dramatic, represent a creative vision, which crosses boundaries and challenges assumptions. These powerful works of art are at once seductive and playful, challenging stereotypes and celebrating the power of the kitsch spirit.
Baba has traveled extensively, having mounted shows in New Delhi, Mumbai, London and Cannes. His works have been featured in many International Publications such as British Vogue, Vanity Fair, Nice Matin, Elle, New York, and Air Canada Magazine to name a few.
Baba has an interesting personal history that makes his work so symptomatic of the times. In 1986, he graduated from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi. After eight successful years in the fashion industry, Baba decided to switch mediums. "Over the course of the following six years I taught myself how to paint experimenting with various techniques and mediums, he says."
Baba brings with him the baggage of the fashion world. Using mixed media and embellishing them with crystals, beads, sequins and other glitzy material from the fashion world, he gives a unique feel to film posters and imparts a richly textured quality. "I have painted film stars and different films, bringing out the 'real' kitsch, which is a very strong element of the silver screen." The works are bright, colourful and very dramatic - characteristics of the Hindi films.
Baba is the only artist who paints on Old Bollywood movie posters and is consciously and consistently trying to use the lost beauty and glamour of yesteryear Bollywood. "My art arises from past associations with the glamour of the world ... This show is a shrine to the more flamboyant entertainers and movies that have become immortal over the years." The posters that he has worked upon are retro from the 1950's through to the 1970's and the body of work exoticises the popular actors and actresses of that period. By painting over, he deliberately enhances the posters.
Cinema, urban imagery, politics, craft, design and colour in India offer artists an enormous bank of ideas, collaborations and amalgamations to work with. A new genre of visual art is being formed in the contemporary world. Artists are constantly searching for new and attractive visuals to add to their language. Baba Anand has delved into the world of cinema, appropriating directly from a defined visual metaphor amalgamating it with his own training as a fashion designer and developing a trajectory that is dramatic, and totemic of popular culture.