Born in 1942 in Boorugupali, Andhra Pradesh, T. Vaikuntam completed a Diploma in Painting at the College of Fine Arts and Architecture, Hyderabad, in 1970, and then another in Painting and Printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, in 1972. He held his first solo exhibition at the Kala Bhavan in Hyderabad in 1973, and since then has had regular shows at various galleries in Hyderabad, Bangalore, New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. His most recent shows have been ‘Yes, I am He’ organized by India Fine Art at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2007; ‘Telangana: Inheritance of a Dream Lost’ at Art Alive, New Delhi, also in 2007; and ‘Mukham’ at Sanskriti Art Gallery, Kolkata, in 2006.
Thota Vaikuntam hails from Andhra Pradesh, in South India, and finds his inspiration in the rural areas of the state. Men and women of his village are often the central characters of his work. Telangana women, in particular, are frequent subjects for his works. The obsession can be traced back to his childhood, when he used to be fascinated by the male artists who used to impersonate female characters in the travelling theatre groups that performed in his village. He admits finding the women of his village very sensuous and that he only attempts to capture their vibrancy. Among his several honours are the National Award for Painting, which Vaikuntam received in 1993, and the Biennale Award from Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, which he received in 1988-89. The artist lives and works in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
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