My brother Carl Hamm (Twitter), who is a club and radio DJ and a collector of obscure but excellent global stuff, shares the images in this post and says:
There's a long tradition of Indian poster art which was probably at its height in the 1970s but goes back many many years before then. Youve already seen vivid and colorful posters for Hindi films.
Often the same artists who were painting "pinup" style posters of bollywood heros and heroines were also painting similarly colorful calendar and poster art of gods, goddesses, politicians, national heros, etc.
The artists' subjects were diverse and sometimes included icons of the west -- including Jesus as seen here. (Ive also seen posters of Kennedy)
Poster artists would also paint advertisements for perfume, bicycle manufacturers, beedi vendors, health tonic, insurance companies and banks, political campaigns, car batteries, makeup and feminine hygiene products.. and would incorporate the same lavish style in the ads for these ordinary products -- and often include either a film star or even a religious deity on the same advertisement.
It was also common for religious posters like these to have a calendar (sometimes with rotating wheels with the date) and a company name.
I'm currently reading a great book on the subject of Indian poster art called Gods in the Bazaar.
Since today is Good Friday, I'm sharing a few interesting depictions of Jesus; I'm sharing others as examples of the other diverse subject matter these artists were painting for calendars, ads, and "inspirational pinups".
Some of the studios/artists here include: JB KHANNA AND CO (Madras aka Chennai) "Jesus life,"
S.J BRIJBASI AND SONS "Holy Family", and STUDIO SVARAS, "Jesus with arms outstretched."
(Source: random piles of stuff on the internet. Artists unknown, alas.)
Back in 2010, It Books published Mary-Lou Weisman's biography of MAD Magazine icon Al Jaffee: Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography; I missed it then but happened upon Arie Kaplan's 2011 writeup in The Jewish Review of Books this morning and was charmed by the biographical sketch it lays out.
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