Familiar figures
Gargi Gupta / Business Standard, April 02, 2011 New Delhi

Despite what the title of his latest exhibition claims, Thota Vaikuntam’s subject of choice remains images from Telangana.

In the increasingly city-centric world of Indian art, Thota Vaikuntam is one of the few painters who continues to be preoccupied with rural India. Though he has been living in the city of Hyderabad for many years now, the men and women Vaikuntam saw as a little boy growing up in his native Boorugupally village in rural Karimnagar continue to people his canvases.

He has painted them again and again over the past three decades, capturing them in all their vivid splendour — bright printed saris and colourful jewellery, their foreheads, palms and feet anointed with large tikas in red and yellow. These are not realistic portraits, but flat, caricatures that are delightful nonetheless. They have become Vaikuntam’s signature that assures him both loyal collectors and a healthy premium in the art market. And over the past few years, his stock has been rising with a large, untitled canvas from 2007 topping Rs 30 lakh at Saffronart’s winter auction in December 2010. (మరింత…)

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