"They call it drawing. I really have no name for it. It's a compulsion, an itch. It is enjoyable but it can also hurt when nothing emerges but an incomprehensible mess."
"I like using rich primary colours, which give a sense of character and depth to my paintings. Like reds and saffron and even orange, because these are essentially Indian colours. I don't like using colours that are mix of two, because they are not natural, they don't exist in surroundings around us, in our everyday life."
T. Vaikuntam hails from Andhra Pradesh, in South India, and draws a lot of inspiration for his work from the rural areas of the state. The men and women of his village have often been depicted in his work. Women, in particular, are frequent subjects for his works. The love for this subject can be traced back to his childhood, when he used to be fascinated by the impersonations of women characters by the male artists of the theatre groups that traveled to, and performed in his village.
He portrays women as sensual and voluptuous. The colours used to paint women give them a vibrant and decorative, look. The male form appears remarkably calm, with a sense of humour. His work has a distinct rural flavour. In his work, he uses only primary colours. Most of his work is in tempera and watercolour, on paper. His recent substitution of paper with wood lends his work an ephemeral quality.
Vaikuntam was born in Boorugupally, in Andhra Pradesh. He studied at the College of Fine Arts, Hyderabad and at the M. S. University in Baroda where he worked under the guidance of artist K.G. Subramanyan. In a career that has spanned nearly 30 years, he has won several awards. His paintings are a part of several renowned collections and his works have been exhibited widely. Over the past five years, exhibitions of his works have been held in New York, London and Birmingham. He lives and works in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.