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Born in 1942 in Boorugupali, Andhra Pradesh, Thota Vaikuntam places the men and women of his village
as the central theme of his paintings. The artist is particularly preoccupied with women from the Telangana region. Sensuous and voluptuous, they are often set against the rustic
environment amidst which he grew up. In an interview with Saffronart, he said, “I find their body language very sensuous and very strong. Their upright and powerful torsos,
their earthy beauty and their clothes, so very different from the kind of beauty you find in cities, their whole body language is of abandon and of joy. I can’t stop myself from
drawing these women. To me they represent strength that’s so inherent in most Indian women.” This preoccupation bears its origins in the theatre groups that performed at his village.
His childhood fascination with the artists who would impersonate female characters in these groups carries forward to this day.
Paintings by Thota Vaikuntam have a sense of
robustness. His precise lines and masterful strokes kindle a power which also emerges from the paint or charcoal that he uses in his paintings. While primary colours dominate his work,
his palette consists of vivid purples, yellows, greens and reds, heightening the vibrancy of his paintings. The figure fills up his canvas, and backgrounds are either bold monochromes
or muted pastels, forming a sharp contrast with the central figure.
Vaikuntam received a Diploma in Painting at the College of Fine Arts and Architecture, Hyderabad, in 1970,
followed by one in Painting and Printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, in 1972. He held his first solo exhibition at the Kala Bhavan in
Hyderabad in 1973, and since then has had regular shows at various galleries in Hyderabad, Bangalore, New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. He has received several several honours,
including the National Award for Painting in 1993, and the Biennale Award from Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, in 1988-89. Vaikuntam lives and works in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
StoryLTD features a number of paintings by Thota Vaikuntam. Buy Thota Vaikuntam paintings on StoryLTD.