Artist Yusuf Arakkal passes away at 71 | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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Artist Yusuf Arakkal passes away at 71

One of the most popular faces of contemporary figurative art, Yusuf Arakkal died in Bengaluru on Tuesday morning after a prolonged illness. He was 71.

art and culture Updated: Oct 04, 2016 14:50 IST
HT Correspondent
Yusuf Arakkal was born in Kerala in 1945.
Yusuf Arakkal was born in Kerala in 1945.(Facebook/Yusuf Arakkal)

One of the most popular faces of contemporary figurative art, Yusuf Arakkal died in Bengaluru on Tuesday morning after a prolonged illness. He was 71.

Born in Kerala in 1945, he’d lost both his parents early in life and came to Bengaluru to study at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath.

Known for his poignant portrayal of social issues and existential crisis, Arakkal initially experimented with abstracts before he moved to figuration. “There is an anguished being, disturbed and in distress somewhere deep inside me, who yearns for a meaningful existence. The human presence arouses my attention and stirs my creativity,” his official website quotes him as saying.

One of Arakkal’s still life paintings. (Facebook/Yusuf Arakkal)

Arakkal’s work took him around the world. He’s had solo shows at several international platforms in cities including London, New York, Singapore and Dubai. For his contribution to the arts, he was given the Karnataka Lalitkala Academy Award in 1979 and the National Award in 1983.

Along with painting, he also wrote poems and made sculptures. Among his published works include In Search of My Roots (a book of paintings narrating his travelling experiences in Kerala), and his recently released book Faces of Creativity, a one-of-its-kind collection of portraits of artists made and documented by another artist.

Yusuf Arakkal is survived by his wife Sara Arakkal, son Shibu Arakkal and a legacy that has and will continue to inspire scores of artists to chase their dreams, whatever the odds and tribulations.

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