The series of works by Kiran Kumar Varikilla, presently on display at Gallery Space in Hyderabad, will soon be exhibited at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, in a few days. To become a professional artist and to earn a livelihood from his artworks was not an easy decision for Kiran. And yet, his innate love for the fine arts empowered him to tread on a path less travelled and become a full-time painter professionally — while attending to and looking after all of his other responsibilities perfectly.
“In our village we had a bunch of artists, musicians, painters, vocalists and others. My father and cousins used to play musical instruments to earn a livelihood. I got admission in the government residential school in Karimnagar district, where the teachers recognised my love and gift for painting. So one of my paintings was sent to a competition for which I got awarded. The achievement made a mark on my mind and also kindled my passion to pursue a dream, a dream to paint and only paint,” says Kiran. The nature of Kiran’s paintings is semi-abstract. The picture surface is juxtaposed with multiple planes that divide the composition and give dimension to the background space. The concepts are sensuous in nature with frequent depiction of human bodies. One of the paintings depicts a huge elephant-like form and a human figure with wings. The work in its strong, surreal essence fascinates and initiates myriad allegories in one’s mind.
Talking about another huge painting exhibited in the show, Kiran explains, “This painting is inspired by a personal experience and talks about the very disheartening practice of fem-ale infanticide. It brings forth the mention of a sad aspect from our society and in a very symbolic manner affirms that such practices need to be abolished completely.”