The stage was set at Galerie Sara Arakkal for the book release and short film launch of none other than the revered, National Award winning artist, Yusuf Arakkal. As the man behind the great ‘Bacon’s Man with Priest and Child’, mingled with the guests, those present waited eagerly for the moment of truth, that of the release.
Finally, it was time for ‘In Solitude’, a book penned by P. Surendran, Giridhar Khasnis and P. Sudhakaran, to see the light of day. While on one hand the book takes the reader to the artist’s in-depth perception of Ganga through a series of the same name, on the other it opens his psyche, as rendered by innumerable inspirations, for dissection through works such as ‘My Book of Reference’ (2001). The 15- minute short film, ‘Visual Soliloquies’ by Dixon and Giridhar Khasnis worked equally strongly to span across the painter’s creative journey by attempting to study his inspirations and influences.
The highlight of the event was of course the formidable presence of Biocon chief, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw who is a close friend of Arakkal’s. While obliging photographers, Shaw expressed her own love for art and how she bought a painting from Arakkal a long time ago and promised to pay him in installments. The journey since then has been a long but successful one for Arakkal who is perhaps the only artist who has won recognition twice at the Florence International Biennale.