Thota Vaikuntam
Born 1942, Boorugupalli, Andhra Pradesh.

Thota Vaikuntam completed a Diploma in Painting at the College of Fine Arts and Architecture, Hyderabad, in 1970, and then another in Painting and Printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, in 1972.

He held his first solo exhibition at the Kala Bhavan, Hyderabad in 1973, and since then has had regular shows at various galleries in Hyderabad, Bangalore, New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. His most recent shows have been 'Yes, I am He' organized by India Fine Art at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 200; 'Telangana: Inheritance of a Dream Lost' at Art Alive, New Delhi, also in 2007; and 'Mukham' at Gallery Sanskriti, Kolkata, in 2006.

Vaikuntam finds his inspiration in the rural areas of Andhra Pradesh. Men and women of his village are often the central characters of his work. Telangana women, in particular, are frequent subjects for his works. The obsession can be traced back to his childhood, when he used to be fascinated by the male artists who used to impersonate female characters in the travelling theatre groups that performed in his village. He admits finding the women of his village very sensuous and that he only attempts to capture their vibrancy.

Vaikuntam's art has a sense of strength to it, a power that emanates from the paint or charcoal that he applies to the surface, from his controlled lines, and from the fine strokes that he executes. He generally uses only primary colours, as he believes that composite colours do not exist in nature and are therefore, unnatural.

Among his several honours are the National Award for Painting, received in 1993, and the Biennale Award from Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, 1988-89.

The artist lives and works in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.