Noted artist Yusuf Arakkal passed away on Tuesday, 4 October. He was 70. The Kerala-born, Bengaluru-based artist was an alum of the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishad and also received training from Jaya Varma (the grand nephew of Raja Ravi Varma).His last exhibition (‘Faces of Creativity’) comprised a series of 135 portraits of personalities from the world of contemporary art that Arakkal worked on for over three years.
The portraits are rendered as pen and ink drawings on reversed canvas, which as Jayanti Madhukar pointed out in a piece for The Hindu, is an “unforgiving and challenging surface”. Arakkal wanted the entire series — which includes portraits of Amrita Sher Gil, MF Husain, Abanindranath Tagore, Thota Vaikuntam and Ramkinar Baij — to be sold as one work, to a single buyer.