A local artiste Sheehan Hussaini, worked up over M.F.
Hussain's controversial 'Saraswati,' chose to say It with
a painting. He did a portrait of the celebrity painter
in the nude In the presence of an Invited audience at a
local hotel on Tuesday.
Mr Hussaini showed up with two large canvases - one with
a copy of the controversial Husain painting, and the
other, a blank canvas. He got down to work on the blank
canvas and painted Husain himself in the nude.
After he finished, he paused to get a reaction from the
audience. Were they not shocked at the spectacle, he
asked. They were. Hussaini then went on to give finish-
ing touches to his work by painting a palm to cover the
Hussaini, who is also a karate expert, then stated that
artistic freedom did not give one the licence to ignore
public sensibilities. "Art should be tempered with social
responsibility," he said, adding, an artist should be
responsive to public sentiments.
Hussaini also worked on his Saraswati canvas by painting
a fully draped figure. He said he was doing it to heal
hurt sentiments. He also appealed to Husain to "dress
up" his controversial painting in the larger Interests of
The local artiste put up the Husain nude for auction,
which fetched Rs 60,000. A local businessman who bought
it said he was an arts collector who appreciated Husain's
work. However, in his portrayal of Saraswati the artist
had gone "overboard."
The businessman complimented Hussaini for his symbolic
gesture in "dressing up" Husain's Saraswati and restoring
the much needed balance in art.