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Indian Artist Nalini Creates French Open Poster

New Delhi: Indian representation in this year's French Open is not confined to just Somdev Devvarmans and Leander Paeses alone. The official poster for French Open 2010 has been created by an Indian artist --
PTI May 26, 2010 15:27 IST
PTI

New Delhi: Indian representation in this year's French Open is not confined to just Somdev Devvarmans and Leander Paeses alone.

The official poster for French Open 2010 has been created by an Indian artist -- 64-year-old Nalini Malani, who earned the distinction of not only becoming the first Indian but also claimed to be the first Asian artist to do so.

Ever since official French Open posters began in 1980 to celebrate art and tennis, a host of renowned European painters like Spanish Catalan painters Joan Miro and Antoni Tapies, Belgian artist Pierre Alechinsky have been commissioned to design the poster for this Grand Slam.

Nalini, a Pakistan-born Mumbai-based artist, in her design, portrays a woman tennis player, stretching across two globes while playing a shot. The female tennis player on the poster has some golden butterflies flying around her and a woman is lying on the ground looking up in anguish.

Describing her creation, Nalini said she wanted to show the struggle and success of tennis players, especially women.

"The young woman tennis player strides the Universe. She is in a magical space with golden butterflies around her. The falling figure shows that sometimes one wins but sometimes one can lose -- but one has to go on playing the game," Nalini told PTI from Paris.

 "It was wonderful to be associated with the French Open. And indeed it was very satisfying to make the artwork for the poster that would be seen all over the world. I am happy to say my work is very much appreciated in Europe."

The butterflies in the posters, according to Nalini, depict the vulnerability of tennis players.

 In the pamphlet distributed to the media in Paris after the launch of the poster, Nalini appreciated the achievements and contribution of Sania Mirza in popularizing the game in India.

"She is our youngest player trying hard at the game. Her tennis has revolutionized the mentality here. It created a sense of liberation. If it was natural for men in high society to play tennis, it wasn't the case, after a certain age, for young girls," Nalini said. PTI