Having finished reading the book Mumbai Fables which briefly appeared on my earlier post Doppelganger I want to share some information about the cover of the book that I found at the end of the book. I quote the author and reproduce an image of the original poster that inspired the self portrait.
“Consider the contemporary artist Atul Dodiya’s Bombay Buccaneer. The self portrait assembles multiple fragments that share no organic connection but depend on artifice and imagination. A poster of the Hindi film Baazigar (1993) is its formal inspiration.In the original, the images of two female protagonists are mirrored in the sunglasses worn by the film’s psychopathic antihero.
Bombay Buccaneer replaces them with the reflections of the painters David Hockney and Bhupen Khakhar. In place of the menacing antihero, there is an ordinary office worker, collar unbuttoned and tie askew, but armed with a gun, the fixtures of everyday urban life frame the portrait – the open doorway of a suburban train, a metalled roadway, and the ubiquitous yellow and black taxi, broken down. Dodiya intermeshes art and cinema, Indian and Western, pop culture and high art, to brilliantly capture Mumbai’s kaleidoscopic urban experience.
This books is an amazing piece of writing which can be truly appreciated only by some one who has lived in Mumbai and before that Bombay. I have lived there during both phases and have first hand experience of many insights that Gyan Prakash brings into the city’s history and present. It is a book that I will read again and most probably once again.
Anil, thank you for this wonderful gift.