Art, worship and storytelling have been companions for thousands of years. To retell God’s story on paper, and to do it almost poetically, is a feat that only a skilled and devoted artist can undertake and Ramesh Gorjala’s paintings depict just that. Gorjala, a gifted artist from a young age and born with a familial heritage of superior Kalamkari skill, expertly draws out the magic of this beautiful combination on canvas.
Ramesh Gorjala’s paintings are a fresh take on Hindu deities. With immaculate style, he portrays Gods and Goddesses in multitudes of patterns and layers to construct his almost kaleidoscopic paintings. They usually contain art within art – the silhouette of a deity enclosing several others, parts of a whole, and the whole incomplete without its many miniature parts.
He cleverly juxtaposes religious text against the portraits, intermingling the texts with the with the depictions of myths they’re trying to narrate. Whether it’s Brahma, Vishnu, Hanuman, Krishna or Kamdhenu, the onlooker is transfixed by the artwork and the sheer detailing and story-telling within.
Drawn with an elaborate palette, Gorjala’s paintings bring to life the divinity of the deities in a pleasantly contemporary style. Crimsons, bright yellows, saffron, golds and greens are his favoured hues. The colours’ play a subtle role in defining dimension and depth, across space and time alike, transforming his works from merely traditional marvels into sophisticated modern art.
Gorjala draws inspiration from the traditional Kalamkari style of art; which is craftsmanship with a Kalam (Urdu for pen) and requires tremendous practice and patience. The Kalamkari influence can be seen in his finely drawn, almost sculpted images of deities against signature black and white chequered backdrops.
Gorjala’s own father, Balaji Theertham, is a national award-winning artist. With this hefty inheritance of skill and talent, Ramesh Gorjala decided to further his artistic capacity by pursuing a BFA in Painting from JNTU in Hyderabad. Since then, not only has he bagged several awards for his mesmerising body of work. In 2000, he was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Birth Centenary Memorial Award from Victoria Technical Institute, Chennai. He also won the State Award in 2002 from A.P. Crafts Council. His exhibitions in India and abroad have attracted buyers and admirers from the world over. His work is also on display at the Hyderabad International Airport. Ramesh Gorjala’s originals are a must have for every contemporary home and a treasure to behold for ages to come.