Actor Lisa Ray censured the makers of recently released film Saaho for allegedly plagiarising an artwork from Bengaluru-based artist Shilo Shiv Suleman for one of the film’s posters. In an Instagram post, she shared two pictures, one of the original artwork, and another a poster of Saaho, shared by actor Shraddha Kapoor, featuring actors Prabhas and Kapoor.
The artwork in question is from a song in the film titled Baby Won’t You Tell Me, with lead actors Prabhas and Sharddha Kapoor.
Ray also tagged the artist, Suleman.
Penning a note, she wrote, “What is creativity? What is art? Where does it come from? We know what it is not. It’s not your social status. It’s not your job title. It’s not your appearance.”
She added, “It’s not even the image you see in the mirror. Creativity and its sister Art reach us from the sweet spot of the universe- the soul you might say- through mystery. But I do know that the creator- artist is the channel for it. Let me tell you how hard it is to create- anything- original or authentic. I personally labored for years over my book, quelled the doubts and noise from others and didn’t emerge until I had almost undone myself. Because it’s a calling. And when I was moving through dark moment of self-doubt or creative blocks, I would turn to the work that @shiloshivsuleman puts out into the world and shares on her Instagram handle. She may not even know this, but I can recognize when a creator works honourably and deeply, bleeding, sacrificing, unsleeping, stretching herself in the direction of emotional bravery to produce work that births those feelings we all look for in day to day life. To feel inspired. To feel alive.”
Earlier, the artist had also slammed the makers, and written, “Where does inspiration come from? What (sacred) wells do we drink from when we create from an original and authentic space? This week people from across the world gather back together in that dust @burningman and I am reminded of how much of my creation comes from my (beating) heart. Pulse and bloom is a biofeedback installation that reacts to people’s heartbeats, and it came to exist because of a series of personal relationships.
The artwork, called ‘Pulse and Bloom’, is from a 2014 installation at the famous Burning Man festival that Suleman had staged. “Pulse and bloom is a biofeedback installation that reacts to people’s heartbeats, and it came to exist because of a series of personal relationships. I’m quite certain it was intended for me to create this installation. I’m certain that the sand storms, the dust, the rose-pink clouds, the thunderstorms gathered around it intentionally, for me. What happens when that story gets taken without your permission? I am known by my creation. #pulseandbloom,” wrote the artist.
Post this, anonymous Instagram handle Diet Sabya, shared a post by making a collage of the artist’s photo and the poster in question and captioned it, “Breaking: Prabhas-Shraddha Kapoor Film to Break Avengers Endgame Opening Day Record, Didn’t find the budget to produce original artwork for the poster.”
People came out in support of the artist. One of the users on Diet Sabya’s handle said, “This is just awful. A big-budget movie and you have the nerve to blatantly copy another artist’s work with no credit. Apparently, no one cares two hoots about originality and creativity once you have the fancy stars and big budgets.”
Ray further added that she believed that the film industry was “evolving beyond stealing storylines and rampant plagiarism”. She also requested people to speak up when “something dishonourable” happens. “That’s why when something dishonorable happens, we need to stand up and speak up. To hold up a mirror to these makers to make them understand THIS IS NOT RIGHT. It’s come to light that a big budget film production has ripped off one of Shilo’s original creations. This is NOT inspiration but blatant theft. In no world, is this acceptable. The production did not contact the creator, ask her permission nor offer to collaborate or offer a credit. Nothing. This is not right.
The makers of the movie are yet to issue a statement on the allegations.
Recently, a European artist Flora Borsi accused Judgementall Hai Kya makers of not taking permission before using her work. “It’s a famous Bollywood movie poster called Judgementall Hai Kya. They didn’t ask for any permission nor reached me,” she wrote in a Facebook post.