Some of our actors are not just artistes but artists too. We look at some Bollywood stars who secretly nurse a passion for painting.
Sridevi is making a comeback in Hindi films with Gauri Shinde’s directorial debut, English Vinglish. Between shots, the actor would often be spotted with crayons, sketch pens and paper. “Sridevi loves to draw and paint. I’ve seen some really huge paintings made by her lining the walls of her home. They’re really good, but that’s not surprising because Sridevi is a perfectionist who excels in everything she takes up,” says Gauri. “The artworks range from abstracts to portraits. There’s a really huge one of Michael Jackson, who’s her idol since she’s a dancer too.”
Salman inherited his artistic abilities from his mother Salma and paints abstracts, religious imagery, couples and his dogs. In 2008, he gifted Ranbir Kapoor a painting of his grandfather Raj Kapoor on his game show, Dus Ka Dum, and presented Aamir one of him in his Ghajini (2008) avatar. He got an approving nod from the late MF Husain, also inspired Dabangg (2010) co-star Sonakshi Sinha to move beyond sketches and paint a woman.
The actor-singer has been painting since he was a child and has a degree in fine arts. At 18, he sold 20-minute charcoal portraits in a hotel lobby for R500 each to fund his music albums.“Some women wanted a painting like the one Leonardo DiCaprio makes for Kate Winslet in Titanic, including my wife, whom I later painted,” he says. “Once I got busy with music, I stopped painting. I picked up the brush after seven years in 2010 when my father asked me to be a part of a national exhibition in Lahore,” says Zafar. The exhibition featuring over 100 Pakistani artistes was hosted by the alumni association of the College of Art and Design for the rehabilitation of craftsmen affected by the devastating floods. More recently, Zafar painted London, Paris, New York (2012) co-star Aditi Rao Hydari during the film’s promotions.
For Salman’s Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) co-star, painting was a fun pastime that let her imagination take flight. She says, “I began when I was 13, with sketches of my favourite stars, Amitabh Bachchan, Marilyn Monroe, Bridget Bardot and Michael Jackson.”
Perfectionist Aamir took art lessons before playing Arun, the painter, in wife Kiran Rao’s directorial debut Dhobi Ghat (2010). Salman was his inspiration“Salman’s a fantastic painter and has presented me with four beautiful paintings that are up on our walls. I tried to copy one of them.. a face… and realised I’d a really bad artist but a good imitator,” he laughs. “I gifted the canvas to Salman and it has pride of place in his living room. I guess, he didn’t want to break my heart.” Interestingly, Salman’s paintings lined the walls of Prateik’s shack in the film.
He was a prolific painter who dabbled in charcoal, water-colour and oil. “I like to paint nudes, in the nude, in the privacy of my bathroom,” the veteran actor once admitted. He’s made 300-odd paintings, many of which he gifted away but on his birth centenary last year the Ashok Kumar Foundation organised an exhibition of his art that had a self-potrait of him playing the violin.
Deepika Padukone always got an A grade in art when in school. And during Love Aaj Kal (2009), in which she played a fresco restoration artist, when she suddenly spotted canvasses and paint on the set, she made a couple of paintings.