Ramesh Gorjala: An interpreter of Indian mythology with a fresh perspective

By Galleriesplash, July 4, 2018

Born into a family of traditional weavers in Sri Kalahasti, Andhra Pradesh in 1979, Ramesh Gorjala‘s work interprets Indian mythology with a fresh perspective. He was hooked to Sri Kalahasti’s traditional painting style of Kalamkari at an early age and was trained by his uncle and Balaji Teertham. Gorjala graduated with a BFA in Painting from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad.

Gorjala believes that the beauty of mythology lies in the telling and how it engages the spectator. Gods, goddesses, and mythical forms including Vishnu, Krishna, Kamadhenu, Hanuman and Ganesh figure prominently in his works – where he integrates multiple images and subjects within the traditional single outline of a protagonist, say Hanuman or Krishna. His intricate technique, featuring gold, red, and green, synthesizes the best of the antiquity and the modern while maintaining a rich and natural mood. Commonly seen is the ample usage of text fragments in the background, improving the storytelling. Besides the text, a ubiquitous element is the checkerboard pattern of black and shades of white and grey in the background that lends a contemporary feel to a largely spiritual ambiance.

Gorjala’s solo ‘Samarpan’ done by Gallerie Splash in 2016 was a sold-out show. Gorjala’s remarkable body of work has won him many awards, including the 2000 Mahatma Gandhi Birth Centenary Memorial Award from the Victoria Technical Institute (V.T.I.), Chennai, and the 2002 State Award from the A.P. Crafts Council. Other solo shows include ‘Mythological Metaphor’ at Chawla Art Gallery, New Delhi, 2010; ‘Embracing Modernity’ at Mon Art Gallerie, Kolkata, 2007; besides Hyderabad and Bangalore. His works have also featured in various prestigious group shows held around the globe. Gorjala’s works were also in some important collection of leading International and Indian Museums.

Gorjala’s unique work has travelled far and wide through the years – finding favour first with Delhi & Gurgaon based art galleries, especially upscale galleries in Gurgaon, and subsequently featuring prominently in many an online art gallery. Online buying of art work has chiefly promoted his emergence as a contemporary great who helped Kalamkari evolve beyond its traditional format.

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