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Ramesh Gorjala

“The beauty of mythology lies in telling a story in a way that engages people. I was fascinated with drawing Hanuman and Krishna.”      – Ramesh Gorjala
Born in Srikalahasti, Andhra Pradesh, in 1979, Ramesh Gorjala studied at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in painting. While he was born into a family of weavers, he was fascinated by how his uncle, Balaji Teertham (a National Award winner in Kalamkari), would draw. It is his uncle who taught him the traditional technique and then urged him to look beyond this.
“Many of my school friends were experts at Kalamkari drawings. I was hooked. I started learning under the guidance of my uncle.”
His work focuses on our traditional heritage and culture, through detailed mythological portrayals of various Indian Gods and Goddesses. Each work tells a story that engages the viewer. The delicate and intricate technique in his works clearly comes from his early influence with Kalamkari.
Ramesh uses a palette often dominated by gold, though his recent work uses less of it. His earlier works largely used red and green with gold, but his recent works have shown more varied palette. He creates outlines of Gods and Goddesses and incorporates innumerable figures within these outlines, telling us a story. Often his stories are brought together by fragments of text, usually in the background of his surfaces, adding a new dimension. His subjects and technique is very traditional and has a spiritual feel, yet the overall impact is contemporary. His work usually has a repeat element, the checkerboard pattern in the background, that adds a modern twist to his otherwise traditional subjects.
Gorjala’s work has won him various 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. The artist has had many solo exhibitions and participated in various group shows in India and abroad. Some of his solo shows include ‘Mythological Metaphor’ at Chawla Art Gallery, New Delhi, in 2010; ‘Embracing Modernity’ at Mon Art Gallerie, Kolkata, in 2007; and earlier ones in Hyderabad and Bangalore. Group shows including his works have been held in Mumbai, New Delhi, Jaipur, Chennai, Bangalore and London.