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A tribute to the ‘Picasso of India’

art and culture Updated: Jul 08, 2011 12:39 IST
Pooja Maheshwary
Pooja Maheshwary
Hindustan Times
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With the nation mourning the loss of India’s most famous contemporary artist, Delhi-based artist Sandhya Singh, will showcase a collection of oil paintings based on MF Husain, as a tribute to the late artist. The exhibit will include paintings titled Jadugar (portraying Husain as a magician with his brush), Bandhak (representation of the restriction of Husain’s artistic expressions), The Cry (an anguished cry for Husain to come back) and Footprints (a portrayal of Husain leaving footprints for everybody to follow).

The artist, who draws heavy inspiration from Husain, says, “I was fascinated with Husain’s work at an early age. His sense of colours, firm lines and brush strokes were a strong influence to my work. Especially the bold style which features prominently in his work. My paintings bear a strong resemblance to the great master’s works. I also attempted his speed while painting ‘Dard-e-dil’ and finished it in an hour!” Although the paintings were made in 2006-07, they will be displayed for the first time on today at DD Neroy Gallery in Girgaum Chowpatty.

“I had made the paintings with Husain as my muse and had cherished a hope of displaying them in his presence. Sadly, he is no more. I’m now displaying the same works in his memory,” Singh says. Husain left his home country in 2006 under a self-imposed exile to paint in peace, following a string of legal cases and death threats.

The 95-year-old artist died in London on June 9, while still in exile. Talking about the artistes last days, Singh says, “What happened to Husain is really sad. He loved his country dearly but couldn’t return to it before his death. One of my works ‘Longing’ depicts the pain he must have felt while he waited in London.”

About how Husain is still her inspiration, she adds, “For me, like for many others, he is still around, not bodily, but through his works – and will always be there, showing us the way ahead.”