Dimensions:88 x 131 x 12.5 cm
Credit:Gifted by Catherine Yass through the Contemporary Art Society, 2019/20
Ownership history:Gifted by the artist to the Contemporary Art Society, 2019; presented to Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, 2019/20
Catherine Yass represented Britain at the 10th Indian Triennale in New Delhi in 2002 with a body of work specially commissioned by the British Council. The series, entitled ‘Star’ comprised six lightboxes depicting portraits of Indian Bollywood film celebrities, with a further four images of empty auditoria of Mumbai cinema houses. Living in the East End of London, Yass’s first awareness of Indian film came via the large Asian community there.
The glowing, dreamlike quality of Yass’s ‘Star’ series speaks of the almost sacred status of Bollywood actors among fans. The global phenomenon of Bollywood is a significant part of cultural life for many Birmingham communities, but it is an art form not often acknowledged in a fine art or museum context. In this, the works will contribute to Birmingham Museums Trust’s collection focus on acquiring work that represents Birmingham as a multicultural, transcultural and global city. The pieces will join a series of six photographic cityscapes by Yass in the Birmingham collection and are an excellent addition to a rapidly growing collection of portrait photography including recent acquisitions of work by Pogus Caesar, Stephen J. Morgan and Vanley Burke.
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