Bhaskara Rao Botcha is a Hyderabad-based artist whose artworks are inspired by nature, particularly trees. The artist reimagines trees in myriad mediums, colours, contexts and textures, revisiting his muse with a new vision in every painting. Rao completed his BFA in Painting from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam in 1999 and his MFA in Painting from University of Hyderabad (Central University) in 2001.
His early experimentation with figurative and street art led Rao to natural landscapes. They, in turn, led to him developing an interest in trees – which were to become his leitmotif, the cornerstone of his body of work as a professional artist. Bhaskara Rao’s connection to trees is rooted in his childhood experiences in Salur, a small town in Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh. He fondly remembers his father taking him to plant a mango tree in their farm of cashews and mangoes. Young Rao frequented the fields to see the mango tree grow, a journey that kindled his innocent and ever-growing love for nature. Apart from their significant role in the ecosystem, to Bhaskara Rao, trees are sacred cultural emblems. According to Indian mythology, trees or ‘vrikshas’ were the offspring of Anala, who was married to the great sage Kashyapa. Trees not only yield fruits, but also provide shade and cover, and protect the earth's surface. On a broader scale, Rao’s artworks are a reminder of the innate spiritual bond between trees and the people of his country, as he worries about the deep-rooted damage we cause to nature in our self-serving haste to progress.
An instinctive artist, rather than pre-planning the scene or its effect, Bhaskara Rao paints layer by layer until he achieves a result he is contented with. His dynamic process is evident in his work, as the trees come alive on his canvases with a grand dimension of depth and realism. Rao achieves this using acrylic, layers of elaborate textures and imaginative colour schemes. Contrary to the expected shades of green, his paintings are often filled with bold primary colours, black and white, or even sombre greys, always elaborately detailed.
Bhaskara Rao has held solo shows at Icon Art Gallery, Hyderabad in 2012 and 2013, and at The International Artist Salon of A.R.T, Taiwan in 2017, 2018 and 2019. He has also participated in more than 60 group shows across India, and also in UAE, Taiwan and Germany. His other achievements include participating in the India-Russia ART Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia - April 2019, ANPO St. Petersburg Center for Humanitarian Programs St. Petersburg GBUK Museum-Institute of the Roerich Family; being awarded a Junior Fellowship from (H.R.D) Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India, New Delhi, 2001-2003; felicitation by the Prafulla Foundation award; and receiving the State-level Painting Award from Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University in 2013.
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