He has been called the Pablo Picasso of India, MF Husain discusses his sometimes controversial art and his journey to international success. His mother died when he was just one-and-a-half years old and this became the inspiration for some of his most famous and controversial paintings. Maqbool Fida Husain, popularly know as MF Husain, says that he has been searching for the image of Indian womanhood throughout his career.
It is a journey that led to controversy when his paintings of naked Hindu goddesses resulted in obscenity charges being filed against him and attacks on his home. As a result he went into a self-imposed exile. MF Husain knew that he wanted to be a painter from an early age and slept on pavements and worked in hotels while pursuing this passion.
His dedication paid off and his paintings are exhibited around the world fetching up to $2mn, the highest of any Indian painter. He has never had a studio and works out of hotel rooms and friend’s houses, he describes painting not as a profession but as lifetime of education.
This episode of One on One with Riz Khan aired on Al Jazeera on February 13, 2011.