Thota Vaikuntam’s growth and his footprints in western comic

by Chetna
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Thota Vaikuntam is a renowned contemporary Indian artist from Telangana, a state that has served as a constant source of inspiration for his work. Vaikuntam’s art has a feeling of strength and strong muliebrity to it, a power that springs from paint or charcoal that he applies to the surface, from his controlled lines, and from the finest strokes he performs. The women of his birthplace, with their pervasive red bindis and bright saris that highlight their dusky skin, have long been his muses since childhood as he grew up with villagers.

“My art is my village.” says, Thota Vaikuntam. He finds his inspiration from personal life and visual narratives demonstrated by his mother from a young age. Vaikuntum owes her mother for passing down her creative side to him. Initially, Vaikunthum suffered from insolvency. He struggled as an artist for quite a long time. Thota Vaikuntam holds the power of rural appeal. The artist represents village life with several unique forks of rural women are the forms; feminine forms, satire, and thematic abstract of rural life within his art pieces. Unlike, other artists he doesn’t glorify women’s sensuality but canvassed them as they were, ordinary brown women. The detailing in his paintings extended to the attire, gestures, postures, and experiences. His soulful captivity of village life conveys compelling composition.

Village women in a bright sari, vermillion bindi, bangles and dusky complexion of people in the village were the central figure of Thota Vaikuntam paintings. Vaikuntam observes that he thought it was his responsibility to demonstrate to his community. “I had a late start in my profession and was searching for a fresh challenge. Many Indian painters were creating western works, which I observed. Contemporary figures in their rural element, the lifestyles of villagers in their unique self, and three highlighted colours. His paintings range from charcoal on paper to transparent washes and pencil drawings.

“I prefer using vibrant primary colors, which lend a sense of character and depth to my paintings. Like red and saffron orange and even cadmium yellow, because these are considered Indian colors.”

The period between 1978 and 1985 is considered the most fruitful and eventful of his life as an artist. Madras group of artists took Thota Vaikuntum’s works on wage increase.” His work bears a witness to his love for rural life, his innate knowledge of his subjects, and a desire to create a picture of the innocent world untouched and uncorrupted by ‘civilized’ society.

Vaikunthum draws hands in linear juxtaposition and imposes dual planar colours. His linear sausage hands’ inspiration has been an inspiration of Lale Westvind. She is the author of self-published comics and two anthologies. It is noticeable in her comics and she called linear hands “Grip” which is dedicated to woman working in the trades and any person working with their hands.” she says. Originally the comic had text but later she published it through comic narrative. Vaikuntam holds his values for culture which in an interview he withstands and opposes the lure of the old masters. Vaikuntum realized 45 years later the value and complexity of rural life, since then he had started to see it as potential Indian art.

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