Osian turns cinema kitsch turns into fine art


How do you turn masala potboiler memorabilia and turn it into a money-spinning venture?

It's not simple though ingenious. You take Bollywood film posters, jubilee trophies, art (these could be scribbles and doodles too) by biggies like Satyajit Ray and Shah Rukh Khan and you serve them as collectibles to the cognoscenti at auction. This is precisely what Osian, helmed by Neville Tuli, has been doing for over the last decade and more.

The vast cinematic treasure spawned by the film industry is now up for grabs, if you have the inclination and the moolah. As Tuli puts in, "Germany and France have created vintage value out of their cinematic memorabilia but India has underestimated this treasure. That is why Osian pioneered into The Historical Mela auction in 2002.This auction has played a pivotal role in creating awareness towards the art of cinematic heritage."

This year, the auction includes eight major sections - including Original Artworks by one of the pioneers of the industry - Baburao Painter, and also those by filmmaker Satyajit Ray, actor Shah Rukh Khan. There is also a focus on Dilip Kumar the legend, with special emplhasis on Mughal e Azam the movie. The auction will also see unique jubilee trophies of films like Bobby, Deewar and others. Among collectibles that will go under the hammer at this year's auction are vintage twelve and six sheeter posters of Kranti(1981), stills from the Golden Era of the 1950s to Amitabh Bachchan's era.

Art collector Ajitabh Bachchan too has a word of admiration for Osian's perseverance. "Attaching credible financial value to these related objects of our film culture encourages one to preserve love and respect." He also observed that since these auctions started, even the so called 'elite' class is getting curious about mass culture movies or masala movies as they are better known. What was kitsch earlier is now culture chic.

If you have pockets deep enough, we recommend you catch all the action at the auction that's being held at the Taj Land's End, Mumbai on 22 June 2017.