Ray’s Secret Lives
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Book: Looking Beyond: Graphics of Satyajit Ray
Author: Jayanti Sen
Publisher: Roli Books
Price: Rs. 895
Ray was a multifaceted genius, who will be remembered as much for his graphic designing and illustrations as for his storytelling prowess," says the late artist Paritosh Sen, who is quoted in this book, which is a worthy attempt to fulfil this prediction by bringing Satyajit Ray the graphic designer to a wider audience beyond the cognoscenti of Bengal.
Satyajit Ray the legendary Oscar-winning filmmaker had a reputation for involvement with almost all creative facets of filmmaking, including music, costumes, set design and credit title graphics. This volume establishes him as a consummate graphic designer and illustrator with an impressive portfolio — 5,500 book covers, posters, advertisement layouts and film titles and innumerable illustrations for Bengali fiction, both his own and others', according to the book blurb.
Profusely illustrated with Ray's drawings and designs, the book takes us on a journey through his parallel creative life in the realm of two-dimensional visual art, starting with his childhood penchant for drawing and his rewarding stint at Santiniketan, where he was taught by Nandalal Bose. He worked in advertising at D.J. Keymer, was involved with book design and typography, and produced art for print and cinema. With visuals supporting the text, this a comprehensive depiction of Ray the graphic artist.
Ray developed his talents in graphic design in the Independence era, when the advertising and graphic design industry in Kolkata was defining its identity and aesthetics for the new nation state. An Indian feel was a priority, in complete contrast to the increasingly global look advertisements aspire to today. In terms of cultural history alone, the reminiscences and interviews brought together in this volume, from stalwarts of the field at the time, serve an important archival purpose.
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