The New Statesman‘s review of the Indian Highway show just on at the Serpentine Gallery opens with this anecdote:
A couple of years ago I spent an afternoon talking to Maqbool Fida Husain, the grandfather (or strictly, at 93 now, the great-grandfather) of contemporary Indian art. Husain was living for the summer at a hotel in Mayfair, central London, surrounded by the latest of the 40,000 paintings he has made in a life that has seen him rise from sleeping on the streets of Mumbai and painting portraits on scraps of paper for food, to selling canvases for upwards of a million pounds.
Husain cultivated the air of a mystic – long beard, no shoes, a paintbrush four feet long. He had, he said, always lived the same way: “I get up at five in the morning and I always feel like it’s my first day in front of a canvas. I don’t get bored with sunrise. I then work hard for three hours.” And after that? “The rest of the time I think it is extremely important just to loiter around.”
The Road to Riches (The New Statesman)