“I like using rich primary colours, which give a sense of character and depth to my paintings. Like reds and saffron and even orange, because these are essentially Indian colours. I don't like using colours that are mix of two, because they are not natural, they don't exist in surroundings around us, in our everyday life”.

Born in 1942 Andhra Pradesh the artist did his education from College of Fine Arts and Architecture, Hyderabad and Painting and Printmaking, from Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Savajirao University of Baroda. Hailing from the village in Telangana the contemporary artist Thota Vaikuntham fills his canvases with scenes and figures from his village. The women, men and their daily chores, the paddy fields came to life with his palette of rich and earthy shades. He is notable for his women centric work which is a reflection of his love for his mother, Satyamma, who to him was a fountain of creativity. Strong women and other motherly figures also inspired him. Later on, other figures of priests, labourers, farmers and teachers found a place in his work. Working with charcoal, pen or ink, and usually water colours, his works bear a testimony to his love for his village, rural life its people, their innocence. Gradually he started using more colours to his series on Telengana women highlighting their features and transforming the moods to give them an enhanced and a very jovial feel to his canvases. The typical features of the women, their utterly dark complexion continue to be his most beloved subject. His art is showcased both in India and abroad.

Thota Vaikuntam has held numerous solo exhibitions in Delhi, Mumbai, and other Indian cities. His paintings have been shown in New York, London, Dubai, Birmingham, and Kassel. His work was displayed at the VII Triennale in Delhi, and in 2001, and also participated in exhibitions in Los Angeles and Hong Kong. In 1988, he received the Bharat Biennale Award in Bhopal, and in 1993, the Indian government presented him with the National Award for Painting.


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