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M. F. Husain’s rare collectible photographs on view

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MS Subbulakshmi painted by MF Husain at ‘Art Bengaluru 2016’ by Navrathan’s Art Gallery, Image courtesy Thomas Jose

New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) When the lens briefly replaced the brushes for ‘Indian Picasso’ M. F. Husain, what took birth on the streets of Chennai in the 1980s was a rare series of photographs called the “Culture of the Streets”. Cited as a collector’s item, 20 individually signed photographs are on exhibition at the Art Heritage Gallery here.

In the photographic series, the Indian modern master (1915-2011) features India’s popular culture through cinema hoardings on the roads of Chennai.

“Along with graffiti on the street walls, Husain recognizes this as the authentic, intense visual culture that has developed in our teeming, urban metropolis,” the Gallery said.

His use of silver foil photo paper is an example of the artist’s experiments with unorthodox materials and techniques, it added.

Having worked as a billboard painter in his initial days, his association with the streets of India goes back a long way.

Primarily known as a painter, Husain’s experimentation with the camera came at a time when the burgeoning film industry was all too visible in the popular culture in India.

“Culture of the Streets” is part of a group exhibition at the gallery which has photographs by photographer Cop Shiva, along with paintings, drawings and sculptures by noted artists like Gouri Vemula, Zai Jharotia, Sunanda Khajuria, Rajesh Deb, Arun Pandit and G. Reghu.

The show is open for viewing till August 6.

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Changing footwear trends in India

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New Delhi, Sep 27 : Covid-19 has changed consumer buying patterns across segments, ranging from FMCG, personal care, apparel to footwear. The change has also led manufacturers to take innovative strategies and widen certain product portfolio ranges to attract consumers and gain a competitive edge.

According to recent reports, the Indian footwear market is growing at a CAGR of 4.5 percent in India; however, owing to the current pandemic, 2020 witnessed changing consumer needs. India’s homegrown e-commerce player Flipkart, observed some interesting trends on the platform. With people placed a greater focus on being fit and healthy, the demand for athletic shoes has grown. Running shoes emerged as the top searched items under the sports footwear category. The platform also witnessed a spike of 1.5X times in the sale of sports footwear compared to pre-Covid times and the revenue of this category saw a spike of 20 percent from July to August. Additionally, running and walking shoes searches for women marked a 2X growth.

With people continuing to stay indoors at most times, the preference for comfortable footwear is at an all-time high. Sandals and Slippers now constitute the top 5 searched queries under Men’s footwear – a trend that has never been seen in the recent past. Additionally, slippers have taken precedence over heels on the platform, becoming the most searched vertical under the women’s footwear category.

“To fulfill these ever-evolving demands of consumers, Flipkart is continuously working with brands and sellers to ensure they are able to benefit from the opportunities that e-commerce presents. During the pandemic, we’ve been working closely with a growing number of national, international, and regionally-renowned fashion brands and sellers, in different ways,” Nishit Garg, Vice President – Flipkart Fashion told IANSlife.

Adding, “This includes identifying opportunities for them to connect them with consumers across India through our online marketplace, scale their online presence and diversify existing product portfolios. This is being facilitated through an insightful collaboration which is based on a very deep consumer understanding. This approach has enabled our partners to strengthen their business, while reaping the benefits of e-commerce in a fair online marketplace.”

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at [email protected])

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Entertainment

Shweta Basu Prasad: India is hung up on idea of fairness

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New Delhi, Sep 22 : Actress Shweta Basu Prasad feels skin colour has nothing to do with beauty but says India is hung up on the idea of fairness.

“India is hung up on fairness because we have had white people ruling us for years, and maybe we think that those who are fair are ‘superior’,” Shweta said.

“I certainly don’t think skin colour has anything to do with beauty and it is sad to read matrimonial ads where the girl’s skin colour is considered far more important than her academic abilities or cultural values. Fairness beauty creams must be banned,” she added.

Talking about her definition of beauty, she said: “My definition of beauty is beyond what is physical. Beauty is what is within. What you are as a person is more important than all extended nails or eyebrows or the makeup. Everybody around me is beautiful for me because I have more beautiful people in my life than those who simply look beautiful.”

On the work front, the actress was seen in Zee Theatre’s teleplay “Gudiya Ki Shaadi”, which takes a light-hearted jab at the standards of beauty set by society, especially with regards to women. She essayed the role of Gudiya, a confident girl who is proud of her skin colour.

The teleplay also stars Virendra Saxena, Samta Sagar, Ishtiyaq Khan, Saroj Sharma, Neha Saraf, Vikram Kochhar, Anveshi Jain.

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Actress Alaya F on how lockdown provided ‘a great learning curve’

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Mumbai, Sep 22 : Actress Alaya F. is having fun being a force unto herself, as she continues to work from home.

From styling her shoots, taking virtual dance classes, bettering her craft and watching documentaries to understand the nuances of different characters and creating her digital series, Alaya has been occupied these past months.

“I had certain work commitments to fulfill even during lockdown. As actors, our nature of work requires us to be in front of camera and usually we have a whole team of professionals to make us look our best. But due to the lockdown and the safety guidelines that were put in place, it became difficult to have a team so I had to get creative and do my own hair and make-up and even styling for shoots. I even did a cover shoot by myself at home,” said the young actress.

“On social media I have to stay active and I also have brand commitments so for everything on my social media, not only hair and make-up and styling is done by me, but also the creating video concepts, shooting them and editing them, it’s all done by me. Everything now takes five times the work it would have taken but it’s been a great learning curve. It’s given me the chance to experiment and go out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways. It also always kept me occupied and busy and overall I must say, it’s been a lot of fun,” she added.

Alaya made her Bollywood debut with “Jawaani Jaaneman” earlier this year.

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