Women are often the protagonists in artist Rajeshwar Rao’s creations.
Rajeshwar Rao’s works reflect the intensity of his gaze and his keen observation skills. These often look like pictures clicked by him through a roving camera, which zooms into some sections that interest him immensely.
Rajeshwar is well-known for his visual dialogues that bring forth deeply rooted iridescence of mass culture, passion for popular trends and fashion emblems in society. For his new show, the artist has worked with cut-paper and black ink. When asked about how the series got initiated, he explains, “My work largely draws inspiration from traditional Indian art forms. My works on acrylic sheets are inspired by the glass paintings from Tanjore, while the present series is inspired by the Tala Pattachitra (palm leaf painting) tradition from Odisha.”
He excels in amalgamating traditional elements with highly contemporary and mature personal connotations. He always finds something new, perplexing and peculiar about city life, its ways of existence and conventional patterns. The imagery develops from an innocent and neutral stance that unveil the mannerisms that reign and shape our socio-cultural system. All this with a pinch of satire, irony and humour! Women protagonists get stylistically exemplified in the present series. The neutral and unanimous brown base emphasises the strength of line drawing, which is one of Rajeshwar’s many artistic skills.
The intricate rendering of the figures as well as the surroundings grants his works an interesting textural grace and fine-grid like pattern, which expands in some sections and contracts in other areas. The protagonists are decked up in kitsch-style, surrounded by exorbitant, modern paraphernalia and yet their strong Indian roots remain at all times. Women reign over all his works. He explains, “Women are more interesting. Their clothes, fashion, and other accessories provide me a lot of chances to experiment and work with effervescent motifs and patterns. They strengthen and support my expressions. I respect them for their innate strength and for the fact that they surpass the potential of men in so many ways. And so, they make for stronger protagonists for my works too.”