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.
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