As one moves around in a confused mess of concrete and lifeless buildings, artist Bhaskara Rao Botsa springs forth a surprise: “In my career spanning 25 years, I have painted 500 trees,” a theme the 39-year-old artist has been experimenting with since the past 15 years.
While one might question how it’s possible to fill 500 canvases with a subject this stagnant, one only needs to take a look at the artist’s work.
Painted on a five-foot canvas, Botsa’s work demands attention for its fine details. Even though the focus remains on the tree, not one of them is alike and the layers of paint, which the artist admits can go up to as many as six, make the tree majestically life-like.
Botsa’s first artwork sold for Rs 150 when he and a group of other artists showcased their work in Visakhapatnam in 1995. And now, after numerous solo and group exhibitions, Botsa is prepared to display his work alongside a few prominent artists from the country — Jagannath Paul, Babu Xavier and H.R. Das to name a few — in a show that will take place in the US later this month. “I previously exhibited my work in Germany and Dubai, but this is one show that I am looking forward to because of the effort,” says Botsa, who is submitting three canvases.
The show in the US is being curated by Rajika Mitra, director of The Asian Art House, and aims to bring to the fore established and upcoming artists from the country. “Surya Prakash and I are two artists from Hyderabad who specialise in landscape paintings. And the show in the US aims to throw light on emerging talent and Rajika found my artwork worth showcasing in this regard. I am the only one from Hyderabad, who’ll be participating in the show” he says.
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