The actor and the art

By Dhara Vora Sabhnani | Mumbai

Updated: Aug 10, 2018, 08:23 IST

Hema Malini speaks about her love for art and supporting a new artist project

Actor Hema Malini speaks about her love for art. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar

When entrepreneur Karan Bhangay was working to launch an art-based project, he didn't imagine that Bollywood icon Hema Malini would support his idea.

Hand Painted Stories is a newly launched web enterprise that works with artists from around the world to create portraits based on photographs. The artists specialise in acrylic, watercolour and oil painting. One of the first paintings Bhangay's delivered is a portrait of Malini with actor-husband Dharmendra, which took two months to create. The artist, Tharun Prabhakar, deftly managed to change the original busy background of the photograph. Bhangay also commissioned an acrylic painting for the star couple.

A portrait of actor Hema Malini and husband Dharmendra

This was a result of a chance meeting with the Dream Girl in Chennai. "I was in Chennai with my brother for a personal engagement, and we happened to stop at a coffee shop, where Karan was there too. He explained the concept to me and I really liked it. Being an artiste myself, I like to lend my support to other artistes," Malini tells us at her Juhu home. "With this initiative, I am looking to help scale up the work of artists, who often find it difficult to get commissioned.

I knew Hemaji is a very private person, but I just took a chance when I approached her to support this venture," Bhangay tells us while unwrapping the portrait. The actress MP has also recently commissioned a series of murals themed on stories of Krishna for Mathura railway station. Folk artists from different regions are executing these paintings. "The murals depict various scenes from Krishna's life.

Founder Karan Bhangay (left) and artist Tharun Prabhakar with the painting

These paintings will make commuters stop and look, and appreciate it. I saw many local residents interact with the artist and ask him questions about his work when he was working on the murals. People across social strata use railway platforms, so the art will connect everyone. The least I can expect is that people don't spit on these walls," says Malini.

Karan Bhangay

And while Dharmendra is known as the action hero, she reveals that he also has an artistic side. "Dharamji constantly messages me about his purchases and his likes; he has collected many sculptures, and the home is filled with them. He has an artistic bent of mind," she reveals. And as for this portrait of the couple, the MP tells us that she will display it at her Mathura home. Malini sketches often, too. "When I work on my dance ballets, I always sketch the script. It's easy to make the music and art director understand my vision [that way]. I draw my costumes too," Malini sums up.

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