I hate posing for pictures. I’m used to being behind the camera,” says an unusually reticent Owais Husain. The artiste, painter, filmmaker, musician and visualiser is also MF Husain’s youngest son.
“I have been a non-conformist all my life. I think that is something I inherited from him. But that is pretty much all we have in common,” smiles Owais. The 42-year-old, who has exhibited his work around the world, is putting up his first solo exhibit at the Tao Art gallery this August. His show, titled 3 Worlds, is a three-tier show of paintings, installations and charcoal drawings.
“This is the work of a lifetime. It’s been brimming in my bloodstream ever since I realised I wanted to be an artist. It’s taken two and half years to be executed,” explains Owais, who currently spends time shuttling between Dubai and Mumbai. In the basement of the gallery is an installation called The Mind, which has verses scribbled on the walls covered by photographs in black and blue and charcoal art. There is also an installation of three life-size Siberian tigers and limestone rocks from the desert of Eastern Syria paired with acrylic sheets.
“I imagine poetry to be a high art form. It overwhelms me, and that energy is reflected in my work. I’m also compiling an anthology of my verses,” he says.
The Heart features 15 paintings and 10 charcoal drawings on paper, depicting distance between human beings. Owais draws a lot from the many mediums he’s experimented with. “Poetry, cinema and music have all contributed to my love of painting and come together in this exhibit,” says Owais who hints at working with his father, MF Husain, on Gaj Gamini (2000) and Meenaxi : a Tale of Two Cities (2004).
Owais aided in direction and wrote the script, screenplay and dialogue for the latter. “Right now I’m making a documentary on my father. It’s called Letters to my Son. He’s talking to the world through me,” says Owais, who feels that the record about his misunderstood father needs to be set straight.