Bangalore has much more to offer than gardens and garbage; its citizens Ramachandraiah and his son Raju being prime examples. A maverick poster-printer since 1971, he hasn’t done much to evolve his trade with the times, which is probably what makes us love him (and his work) even more. He bought himself a lithograph press all those years ago and considering he still uses it today, it was well worth the bargain.
It also ensures that his posters hardly cost anything to print out. But while we’re used to the technical prowess of the usual 30-foot polychromatic experiences that are shoved down our throats every day, the father-son duo’s work holds an inexplicable old word charm—inimitable and collectible for its uniqueness. Expect nothing more than five colours, anything bigger than 30 by 20 inches or anything more than thin, cheap quality paper but expect nothing less than almost 3D art filled with a vibrancy and hilarious typos that only India’s ancient, B-grade flier-culture still perpetuates.
And while many Bangalorean citizens call him a desecrator of their beautiful garden city, some love him so much that they’d go to any odds to track him down. Case in point, the hilarious and wonderful blogger Andy Deemer who actually spent an entire month asking locals and ‘hiring fixers’ to find the poster pair for him. He even hailed them an ‘urban beautifying legend,’ and we couldn’t agree more.
Back to the stories of the makers however, they paint a new poster every 3 hours and run around in the nights illegally slapping them up on building sites, highway overpasses and random walls that cry ‘stick no bills.’ Their own version of graffiti it would seem. They seem least affected by naysayers (he claims to have seen people urinating on them and been least bothered) and least of all by language barriers. The duo paint English and Hindi film posters with as much ease and joy as they do Kannadiga films. In fact, all it takes is the placement of an order and they can whip it up for you. When Deemer asked Ramachandraiah to recreate something for Poultergeist, this is what he came up with (pictured below)! Not before concluding that Poltergeist meant something between ‘ghost, chicken and night’ after trudging through his trusty dictionary though.
Conclusively, Ramachandraiah’s hole-in-the-wall poster factory deserves to be preserved. If for nothing else, he’s contributed to the artistic upkeep of Bangalore for over three decades and his son promises to keep their dying trade going, long after he is gone! A family tradition quite unlike others, then. Scroll on to sit aboard their poster coaster.
Via: Asia Obscura