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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Artist who designed ‘Gandhi’ posters no more – Mrit News

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Artist P. Sharath Chandran had designed over 800 cigarette covers, but is better known for his only movie poster

Artist P. Sharath Chandran had designed over 800 cigarette covers, but is better known for his only movie poster

Noted artist P. Sharath Chandran (79) passed away at his residence at Eranhipalam here on Friday morning. Though a designer of more than 800 cigarette packets sold across the world, he is best known for his poster design for Richard Attenborough’s epic movie ‘Gandhi’. Ironically it is the only movie poster he had ever designed.

Born in Kozhikode, Sharath Chandran moved to Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1964, after completing his art education at the Thalassery School of Arts. He was employed as a designer at ‘Golden Tobacco’ there for which he designed the cigarette covers. He got the offer to design the ‘Gandhi Poster’ through an advertising agency. The poster, which depicts a side profile of Gandhi and a boy crying over the body of his dead mother after the Jalianwalah Bagh massacre, was used across the country for the movie’s promotion and Sharath Chandran’s work was much appreciated.

However, the artist went back to design cigarette covers. After 18 years of service, he quit his job and launched ‘Orbit’, an advertising agency, along with his friends and later on, became a freelance designer.

Call it fate, but all the posters and promotional materials Sharath Chandran had designed for ‘Gandhi’, besides a few of his paintings, were destroyed due to a leakage in his roof years ago, leaving no keepsakes for the artist.

The artist returned to Kozhikode in 2016 and his first come-back exhibition held at Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Art gallery in the same year was notable for the realism and attention to details in his works that made them life-like. He was a master at close up portraits of people, especially old people, monks, with detailed wrinkles and bright eyes. He went on to conduct 9 more exhibitions later.

The funeral of the artist will be held at Mavoor Road Crematorium in the city at 4 p.m. on Friday.


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