Maqbool Fida Husain is an example of emerging art after India's Independence. He was part of the Progressive Artists Group, which brought Indian art to the world using western influences. Husain's life began in the temple town of Pandharpur in Maharashtra. The town is known for its Vithoba temple and is a pilgrimage site attracting millions of Hindu devotees. It is also the starting point of the warkaris' Palkhi procession to Pune.
Husain, a renowned artist, was greatly inspired by the spiritual tradition of Pandharpur. His controversial works depicting Hindu goddesses were not meant to hurt religious sentiments, but rather to celebrate their beauty and power. Husain started his artistic journey by studying calligraphy and went on to receive a formal education in art. Despite facing challenges and financial struggles, he pursued his dream of becoming an artist and worked as a poster painter and toy designer to support himself. He also had a deep interest in Indian history and mythology, which was reflected in his artwork.
Husain was a renowned artist known for his strong and bold lines, which he developed while working on billboards for Bollywood. He was part of the Progressive Artists Group, which broke away from traditional nationalist art and put India on the international art map. The importance of Husain's story lies in inspiring the work of finding and supporting emerging artists from small towns and villages, allowing for a more dynamic artistic culture across India. The goal is to create opportunities for artists without having them uproot themselves from their roots or rely solely on metropolitan cities as centers of art.