After experimenting with different kinds of subjects including streets, figures and still life, Bhaskar Rao Botcha found his calling in nature. The style and colours used in every painting are distinct and render each one unique. There is a spiritual link between the artist and his subject, which he explains through the Bodhi tree, neem tree and other trees that are worshipped in our Indian culture.
Contrary to the overwhelming shades of green that one would expect, his paintings are visually eloquent. The use of bold primary colour patches against subtle details draws the viewer in for a closer look. The artist says, “My art is spontaneous. As there is nothing pre-planned, I paint layer after layer until I am happy.” Using acrylic as the medium, the layered artistry increases the dimension of depth and realism on his canvases.
Bhaskar completed his formal education in Art from the University of Hyderabad. He has painted and drawn trees in myriad mediums and, yet, everytime he has returned to it with a new vision. In black-and-white, sombre greys or bright primary colours, the tree stands out resplendently, a sentinel to remind us of the havoc we seem to cause on the sacred face of the earth in our pursuit of selfish interests.
His major achievements include being selected into “The International Artist Salon of A.R.T 2017” Art Revolution Taipei, Taiwan; a Junior Fellowship from (H.R.D) Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India, New Delhi; felicitation by the Prafulla Foundation award; and receiving the State-level Painting Award from Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University.
“Trees have remained constant as part of my oeuvre over the years in my career as a painter, this is because of deep and innate bond with trees that I cherish, which grew along with me in a rural Indian hamlet. In India, trees enjoy a seminal place in mystical and spiritual realm, going beyond functional domain of just giving fruits and shade. They stand tall as sentinels, saving us even when our greed destroys them,” adds Bhaskar, who has been teaching Art and Design at Loyola Academy Degree College since the past 10 years.
The artist has done 15 paintings in lockdown and has sold 11 of them, while raising Rs 4 lakh. “I did fund-raising for Covid-19 through online art exhibition with Art Zolo Mumbai. My paintings were auctioned by Khushii, an NGO headed by former cricketer Kapil Dev. I participated in online fund-raising for Covid-19 with well-known art galleries Shrishti and Kalakriti from Hyderabad. I also did fund-raising with Invent Art Gallery, Ahmedabad,” he shares.
The 45-year-old artist, who has done close to 300 artworks so far, feels, “This (lockdown) is the time for artists to produce good work. We must keep our weapons ready for 2021-22, instead of worrying about the current situation.”
On a parting note, he advices young artists: “Don’t look for instant gratification. One of my clients had been following my work since 2004, but made a purchase only in 2014. Keep experimenting, working hard and be confident. Make the best use of technology and social media.”
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