With the nation still mourning the loss of India’s most famous artist, MF Husain, Delhi-based artist Sandhya Singh plans a befitting tribute to the legend by organising a collection of oil paintings based on him. The exhibition will include paintings titled Jadugar (portraying Husain as a magician with his brush); Bandhak (representing restrictions on Husain’s artistic expression); The Cry (an anguished cry for Husain to come back); and Footprints (a portrayal of Husain leaving footprints for everybody to follow).
Singh, who draws inspiration from Husain, says, “I was fascinated with Husain’s work at an early age. His sense of colours, firm lines, brush strokes and bold style strongly influenced my work. In fact, my paintings bear a strong resemblance to his 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 today at DD Neroy Gallery in Girgaum Chowpatty. “I made the paintings with Husain as my muse and hoped to display them in his presence. Sadly, I’m now displaying them in his memory,” she says.
Husain left India in 2006 under a self-imposed exile, following a string of legal cases and death threats. The 95-year-old artist died in London on June 9. Talking about how Husain still inspires artists across the country, Singh says, “For me, like for many others, he is still around through his works — and will always show us the way ahead.”