So you think you can be a star?

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Not content with collecting Bollywood posters, kitsch lovers now want to see themselves in the art, says Poorva Rajaram

A CUSTOMER once asked Hinesh Jethwani to paint him into a 1,000 rupee note. Jethwani, the 29-yearold owner of Indian Hippy is used to oddities. After all, he makes customised, handpainted Bollywood posters. For Rs. 5,000 and more, one can steal the limelight, displacing the stars. Predictably, many clients are NRIs and foreigners, some of whom know nothing about Bollywood but just want Indian kitsch. There is a huge demand for films like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le JayengeOm Shanti Om and Mughal-e-Azam. Jethwani says, “For two years I went all over Mahim, Matunga and Dadar only to find most film poster artists had switched to more lucrative careers because of digitisation.” He found a dozen Bollywood poster artists to paint explosive filmi art onto chairs, handbags and wallets. Some couldn’t adapt to painting on different textures and in 1/10th the size. Others have stuck on. There is no accounting for taste though. Given all the lush, dramatic options you could be part of, one customer still wanted to be painted into a poster of Kismat Konnection.

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