Masuram Ravikanth

Masuram Ravikanth’s works may first come across as dexterous renditions of royal portraits from a bygone era. These images are not mere depictions of the past but announce our position at a post-modern era which typically look back at history, re-contextualising memory in a new approach. His ‘Royal dict art’ series are typical of museum artefacts, narrating stories of royalty, traditions and myths enshrined in the past yet reverberating in the present too. The nostalgia is an emotion he arduously tries to bring across through his paintings, using various motifs such as rifles, weapons, kings adorning vintage costumes etc. Once, somebody’s private belongings now become objects of curiosity and learning for others. He captures this ambiguity and effervescent quality of life in all its grandeur and lavishness. His more recent works are inspired from studio photography which he witnessed at his father’s photo studio as he grew up. These portraits in sepia tones juxtaposed along with contemporary imageries like ‘James Bond’ or ‘Superman’ create a witty sarcasm, as laymen become superheroes. The bright colours, derivative of ‘Pop art’ and highly skilful rendering appropriated from Indian miniature painting styles, seem to gel without any struggle, thus generating harmonious renditions of high quality.

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