Andhra Pradesh, India
Thota Vaikuntam was born in 1942 in Boorugupali, Andhra Pradesh. He completed a Diploma in Painting at the College of Fine Arts and Architecture, Hyderabad, in 1970. Vaikuntam draws his inspiration from the rural areas of the State in which he was born. His paintings capture the simple lifestyle of the men and women of Telengana and brilliantly portray the essence of his native place and people. His expertise can significantly be seen in the execution of figures, and the way in which he infuses them with a lifelike vibrancy. The detailing is extended to their jewelry, attire, and experiences. The colours used to paint women give them a vibrant and decorative look. The artist uses rich colours, like reds and saffron, and sometimes orange because these are essentially Indian colours and gives them a three-dimensional feel. The use of these colours imparts a unique sense of character and depth to his paintings. Women are frequent subjects for his works. Thota Vaikuntam artworks have a sense of strength to them, a power that emanates from the paint or charcoal that he applies to the surface; from his controlled lines, and from the fine strokes that he executes. Most of the Thota Vaikuntam artworks are in acrylic and charcoal, and watercolour on paper. Among his several honours are the National Award for Painting in 1993, and the Biennale Award from Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal in 1988-89.