In Thota Vaikuntam’s works, contrast dominates the canvas. A bold palette of solid ostentatious colours are juxtaposed against the tanned, almost burnt, skin tones of his various subjects.
The focus of Vaikuntam’s art is Telangana: his homeland, whose revolution and struggle for autonomy he embodied in spirit and work. From priests to peasants, Vaikuntam gave an image to all those Telangana people inhabiting his imagination and memories from his childhood in the Boorgupally village in Andhra Pradesh.
But it were the women who commanded his attention; he gave them almond-shaped slits for eyes, smeared the traditional vermilion across their foreheads in perfect geometric shapes, and rendered them bodies that exuded an indolent sensuality despite block-like figurations.
Vaikuntam has been known to say: “My art is my village.”