Those dusky women of Telengana

It was an artistic quest that took 20 years to take shape and has now been unveiled in an exhibition titled ``Memories of Telengana''.

Thota Vaikuntam's exhibition, which opened at ITC Maurya Sheraton & Towers here today, has for long been awaited in art circles. Vaikuntam's muse is the sensuous women of Telengana with their omnipresent vermilion ``bindis'', draped in colourful sarees that highlight their dusky skin.

His works reflect the purest form of the women of Telengana region; their contour, colour, the decorative motifs on their dress, the cast marks and ``hasta mudras'', and their exquisite jewellery. The paintings speaks volumes about the feminine lifestyle of the region.

As a young man, Vaikuntam's quest for learning nuances of art took him to Fine Arts College, Hyderabad, followed by tutelage under K. G. Subramanian at Baroda. The shy and reticent artist has through his works succeeded in immortalising his observation of the rhythms of everyday life of his native village in Andhra Pradesh where he found inspiration and his theme.

Flair and spontaneity are the characteristics of his paintings which celebrates the true spirit of women. Another captivating feature of these masterpieces is the use of colours together with the sharp facial features which add to the entire personality and poise of the characters.

A simple man and an instinctive artist, Vaikuntam's ``Telegana women'' has become his signature. Needless to say, his paintings are much sought after in art circles.

By Sandeep Joshi

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