Voluptuous figures with faces painted in vivid colours that can inspire poets to pen many a poem were some of the first works artist Rajeshwar Nyalapalli created as an upcoming artist. Full figured women with a face like a goddess would continue to make an appearance in his later works which drew inspiration from mythological stories and puranas. For now his goal is to present the concept of Shaktipeetha, Dasamahavidya and the mystical Sri Yantra in his figurative acrylic works.
By the artist’s own admission, the influence of Hindu scriptures, philosophies and puranas in his paintings is ironical. “I never believed in gods or mythological stories at first. But what appealed to me about them was that most puranas are about man’s internal struggle with himself, his feelings and how he chooses to deal with them. What the sages wrote in those days is relevant even today,” says Rajeshwar who did his BFA from DMS Lalithakala Mahasamsthana in Mysuru.
Rajeshwar’s career graph as an artist mimics that of his contemporaries Kandi Narsimulu and other artists who are steadily making a mark in the art scene in the city. Hailing from Dubbaka in Medak, he began painting whatever came to his mind from an early age. “I did a lot of commercial work like making banners, signboards, cutouts and concept work. I also worked at a newspaper as an illustrator but the work was not a daily one and the fascination wore off after a while,” adds Rajeshwar who decided to go fulltime into painting in 2011. The first series he made was the ‘Saundarya series’ featuring the aforementioned curvy nymphs in 2014. His later works would feature godly couples such as Shiva- Shakti, Radha-Krishna, all of which would be shadowed by the Sri Yantra in the background.
“When you are first starting out as an artist, you feel what you have made is really good but with age and learning, that changes,” smiles Rajeshwar. Having done a number of group shows at Iconart gallery, State art gallery, Deccan Art Foundation and group shows in places such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chandigarh and abroad, Rajeshwar is currently working on a series revolving around Sapta Matrika.
Laurels for his work, he says are coming slowly. “There is a saying in Telugu… prove yourself at home first, then outside, it’s the reverse here. Buyers are starting to show interest here after observing the response to my works elsewhere. Most of my works are sold online, which brings in a steady income for me. But still we have to struggle a lot to get the attention of gallery owners who tend go with established names rather than upcoming ones,” feels Rajeshwar. But there is a silver lining to his prospects as Rajeshwar’s works have been selected for a solo art showcase at the prestigious Lalitha Kala Academi in New Delhi set to be held on October 23.