Behind The Frame

Thota Vaikuntam

  • By South Asian Art Gallery

Thota Vaikuntam

Thota Vaikuntam hails from Andhra Pradesh, in South India, and finds his inspiration in the rural areas of the state. He is most notable for his portrayal of Telangana women, in a career spanning nearly four decades, he has been regarded as one of the most prominent figurative painters of today.

Vaikuntam spent most of his childhood in the intensely rustic surroundings of Telangana. Within this rural cycle of life, Vaikuntam learned to appreciate the simplicity, beauty, and innocence of the village people. Home to weavers and farmers, his village, will be his constant source of inspiration throughout his career.

His work bears a witness to his love for rural life, his innate knowledge for his subjects, and a desire to create a picture of the innocent world untouched and uncorrupted by ‘civilized’ society. Like many of his contemporaries, he has tried to seek new inspiration in tradition and culture and has managed to develop his own personal style as embodied in his paintings of Telangana beauties.

Often referred to as the man of vibrant spaces, he uses primary colors of the earth in depicting the rural landscapes and the chronicles of the people of Telangana. The endless spectrum of village life became his main theme and the modern concept of distortion as part of his style. His rich palette and easily recognizable faces and figures have given his artwork acceptability; paintings that are strikingly modern without any allegiance to anything usually associated with modernity.

Vaikuntam’s art has a sense of strength to it, a power that emanates from the paint or charcoal that he applies to the surface, from his controlled lines, and from the fine strokes that he executes. He generally uses only primary colors, as he believes that composite colors do not exist in nature and are, therefore, unnatural.

To see artworks by Thota Vaikuntam, click here.
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