Thota Vaikuntam's art is majorly inspired by the women of his native village. He attempts to depict their beauty and strong demeanour. Fine strokes and vibrant colors are evident in these depictions. Apart from his charcoal drawings and colorful paintings, his work has also been greatly appreciated for film set designs. The artist has not experimented with a lot of media. During his formative years he worked with charcoal. Later he moved on to acrylic on paper and painted with oil on canvas. His signature is the bright pigments he uses and the small patterns to depict textiles and jewelry. Most of the colors he uses are primary. He finds composite colors unnatural, as they do not exist in nature. Many people believe that his expertise lies in the use of controlled lines, definite tones and fine strokes that convey a sense of power. The use of charcoal amplifies this sense and gives a raw earthiness to his style. Initially, Vaikuntam preferred to include only the face and neck in his figures, or the entire body, whereas in later works he gradually went on to focus on three-fourths of the body. With this measured shift towards partial depiction of the body, as well as particular emphasis on varied angles and postures he tries to create a three-dimensionality in his frames that offers a naturalistic perspective. The artist’s deep talent is revealed in his execution of figures infused with a life-like vibrancy that brilliantly capture the essence of the people of Telengana. In terms of composition, these figures occupy his entire frame on their own, without a background or accompanying details. The detailing is restricted to their jewelry and attire. As mentioned above, their presence fills the space and teamed with bold colours gives them a unique three-dimensionality. One can say that it reveals the artist’s purpose to glorify his subjects and put them on a pedestal, showcasing their individuality through their positioning, “I worked as an art director for a non-commercial movie. I thought to myself, I can learn so much and enjoy the process; and I did learn many things during my stint. I understood the whole culture of the village and that is when I took everything very carefully to represent the culture and the film. I think I did some good work and people liked it. All I know is that I got a lot of happiness from doing the movie. Every medium is different and cinema is a constantly evolving medium. There are new things to learn every-day which I find exciting as an artist, and also liberating. Painting, sculpting, drawing, sketching, coloring every form has its charm and in the same way, in cinema, there are so many facets that make the movie what it is meant to be”.
This work comes with an Authentication Certificate, Provenance and Curatorial Note on the artwork.