M.F. Husain
Artist, 95

By SHASHI THAROOR, TIME, Dec 14, 2011

I first met M.F. Husain in New York when he was already a legend — “India’s Picasso,” the barefoot reinventor of Indian traditions through his prolific and iconoclastic paintbrush. We collaborated on a book about my home state of Kerala — 22 of his fine paintings together with my prose — and formed a friendship that was to last nearly two decades, till his passing at a youthful 95.

In an astonishing 60,000 paintings, sketches and murals Husain created an artistic idiom that was instantly recognizable as his — the Cubist slashes, the splashes of vivid colour, the variety of sources of Indian inspiration, especially from Hindu mythology, to whose richness and diversity he brought worldwide appreciation. His output was so prodigious that some of it is uneven. His restless creativity and desire to experiment in other fields led him to become a filmmaker, without conspicuous success, as well as to dabble in poetry and photography, architecture and even furniture-making. This was imaginative energy bubbling over, a zest for life he carried to his deathbed. It was a measure of how youthful he was in his 90s — sprightly, without stick or hearing-aid, fond of fast cars and beautiful women — that his passing came as such a shock to his friends, who had begun to think of him as immortal. (మరింత…)

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