“Normally I like to work in different places. In 15 years I’ve been around the world. I don’t have a studio anywhere. My style of working is almost like a folk artist," said the great Indian artist in an interview with Shekhar Gupta in December 2006 on NDTV.
This ‘folk artist’, India’s greatest art legend, MF Husain passed away in the wee hours of morning today at 95. Still reeling under shock, the art fraternity remembers the man and the legacy he has left behind.
Reminiscing his dear friend, painter Jatin Das said, “The loss of an artist is not only for the artist community to feel. It's the society at large that should think and feel, and be concerned about their poets, painters, musicians, dancers, artists, etc. When politicians, cinema stars and cricketers are of concern to everybody, the thoughts and breath of them, I'm very sad the loss of an artist has not created a vacuum in the society. Hussain was octogenarian and most celebrated artist of the century. It's a pity that he lived in exile, because of a threat to his life. I'm angry and sad that the people and government of India did not give him protection to come back to India. Actually after his death, we should bring his body to India and have national mourning for the artist."
Indian artist Anjolie Ela Menon said, “He was such a unique personality. Controversies will be left behind, people will remember him as the great Indian artist.
The man who painted MF Hussain on the MRI scanner two years back, Ravi Gossain, recalled MF Husain as the modern artist from the east who took art as a mission. 'You may not remember what Michelangelo looks like, but you won't forget Maqbool Fida Husain's face.”
Sanjay Bhattacharjee, fellow painter said, “ It’s a big loss, there are so many painters around. He was the real painter- bohemian and aloof. There wouldn't be a MF Husain in future. The controversy is always there. I think we created a lot of controversies unnecessarily.”
Indian born British artist, Nandita Chaudhari, also expressed shock at his demsie, "Husain's passing away is a huge loss. He has been one of the greatest painters of our times, and a wonderful human being. There has to be artistic licence and freedom of expression in the creative field. In a country full of corruption and a whale of other issues, it is utterly shameful, the way he was treated. May his soul rest in peace."