G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Which Religions will Now Inspire M F Husain's Nudes?

For my taste, M F Husain is an average artist. His art has never inspired me.

I should just leave Mr. Husain alone.

But then I read Durga Bhagwat (दुर्गा भागवत).

The late Ms. Bhagwat all her life defended freedom of expression, fearlessly took on Indira Gandhi during the Emergency when most intellectuals were shit-scared and fought culture-vultures turned goons of Maharashtra while defending Marathi author Bhau Padhye (भाऊ पाध्ये) who was accused of obscenity.

“…why does Husain draw Seeta sitting on the tail of Lord Maruti flying across the sky? And that too naked one? Obviously religious people will get angry, won’t they? Basically Husain has not read Ramayana is obvious because no where in Ramayana, Maruti carries Seeta. In Ashok-vana, he offers Seeta that he would transport her on his shoulder safely. Seeta declines the offer because she wants Rama to go there personally, slay Ravana and free her. That shows Seeta’s confidence in Rama and also pride. Without considering this context, drawing revealing pictures of Hindu goddesses has to be considered objectionable. Such pictures are naturally going to hurt the sentiments of religious people. Not just that even a religious Muslim may not like this insult of gods of other religions.”

(Source- ऐसपैस गप्पा : दुर्गाबाईंशी लेखक प्रतिभा रानडे “Aispais Gappa: Durgabainshi” by Pratibha Ranade, 1998)

On March 10 2010, in The Asian Age, I read Cho S. Ramaswamy "Feel free, Mr Husain. Go paint Qatari leaders":

"...Now that M.F. Husain has settled in Qatar where there is total freedom, he is free of the shackles imposed by the Indian system on freedom of expression. All those who appreciate his art would now eagerly await his imaginative paintings of the leaders of Qatari society, hopefully not artistically clothed.

His fans would not expect him to confine nudity to Hindu deities alone; it would extend to all the religions. Having already painted his mother, daughter and Muslim kings fully robed, Mr Husain, being the freed citizen that he is now in Qatar, should be prepared to remove those clothes. How can the artist in him be satisfied with seeing Saraswati and Parvati alone in the nude?..."


'It’s all very well you saying I should paint something else, but WHAT?’


courtesy: Spectator