Kalamkari - The Ramayana Story

by M. Vishwanath Reddy
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Size: 47 x 73 inches
Medium: Organic Paint on Fabric
  • ABOUT M. Vishwanath Reddy

    Born in 1986, M. Vishwanath Reddy is committed to saving the ancient art form of Kalamkari, originating in the beauteous temple town Srikalahasti. He started painting at the age of three. Every day after school, he would paint with his grandfather. His father M. Munireddy also had a great influence in shaping his artistic style. M. Vishwanath Reddy believes in the purity of the Kalamkari artform and tries to maintain its traditional character in modern times. The artist paints with natural dyes on hand spun cotton fabric, a tradition passed on over centuries. Motifs drawn in his Kalamkari artworks span from flowers, peacocks, and paisleys to divine characters from Hindu epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana. In 2008, he received the prestigious National Award.

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  • ABOUT Kalamkari Art

    Kalamkari is an ancient Indian artform that originated in Andhra Pradesh over 3000 years ago. The work ‘kalam’ means ‘pen’ and ‘kari’ means ‘work’ and together, they describe the exquisite pen-work that makes up a Kalamkari painting. Originally drawn only on cotton fabric, the artwork has evolved into many mediums, and is now commonly associated with clothing fabrics such as saris. Kalamkari paintings often depict Hindu deities and scenes from Hindu mythology. Some Kalamkari artists also use the block-printing technique to create artworks, adding in the details with pen.

    Kalamkari artists originally used a bamboo or date palm stick pointed at one end, with a bunch of fine hair attached to this pointed end, as the brush or pen for their art. The paints used to make these paintings, even today, are usually natural dyes, obtained from plants and minerals. The entire process of producing Kalamkari is very long, with up to 23 steps until the artwork is ready. There are several forms and styles of this artform that are practiced all over the Indian Subcontinent.

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