“The beauty of mythology lies in telling a story in a way that engages people” says the contemporary Indian artist Ramesh Gorjala.
His work is a combination of traditional Kalamkari art with his own depiction of mythological characters with multiple stories within a single painting.
Kalamkari is an ancient art form originated in Andhra pradesh and Telangana. These are painted on paper, cotton fabrics and walls. These can be block printed or hand painted.
About Ramesh Gorjala
Ramesh Gorjala was born in 1979 in a town called SriKalahasti, Andhra Pradesh in a family of weavers. Since his early childhood, he learnt the Kalamkari art from his uncle, Balaji Theertham (National award winning Kalamkari Artist).
Belonging to the birthplace of Kalamkari art, SriKalahasti, he grew up surrounded by this art form and was deeply attracted and influenced by it.
He has done BFA and MFA degrees in painting from Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University, Hyderabad.
After graduation he went to Delhi and Mumbai to train under artists like Fawad Tamkanath and Laxman Aaley. He also acknowledges the guidance of artists like Surya Prakash and Thorat Vaikuntam.
Style of Painting
Ramesh Gorjala believes in engaging the audience by depicting Hindu mythological tales in his art work, thus keeping them captivated in his mystical world of imagination.
Ramesh Gorjala’s paintings are a mixture of Kalamkari art and his unique style of telling multiple stories within a single painting. His art has evidently outlined figures using fine pen, which is the typical feature of Kalamkari.
The paintings usually depict Vishnu, Ganesha, Krishna, Hanuman and Kamdhenu. He uses figures and texts with multiple mystic tales and combines them inside the main figure.
First he sketches on a plain canvas and then fills it with colours and motifs. Then he gives the painting a story and structure and fills them with vibrant colours.
He uses a palette balancing warm colours with bright tones. His paintings have orange, golden yellow, sandalwood, various shades of red and green.
His paintings also have a checkerboard pattern with shades of white, grey and black in the backgrounds giving them a modern touch.
Awards and exhibitions:
Ramesh Gorjala has been awarded with:
Mahatma Gandhi Birth Centenary Memorial Award in 2000 from Victoria Technical Institute, Chennai
State Award from A.P. Crafts Council in 2002
He has done many solo exhibitions and group shows both within the country and abroad. Some of his solo exhibitions include 2010: Mythological Metaphor, Chawla Art Gallery, New Delhi
2016: Samarpan, Visual Art Gallery, New Delhi
2021: Myth, Mystery & Eternal Romance, Gallery Splash, Gurgaon
Stars like Beyoncé also own Gorjala’s beautiful artwork. His depiction of Kamdhenu was appreciated by prime minister Narendra Modi too. The artist also has expertise in wooden carvings and wooden sculptures.