Artist Sesha Brahmam Yeluri revels in painting ordinary people in hyper-realistic mode
Artist Sesha Brahmam Yeluri is known for his captivating hyper-realistic artworks (genre of painting where an artwork looks similar to a photograph) comprising drawings and paintings. “We are safe in our homes, but how can you ignore the surroundings?,” asks the artist, referring to the pandemic’s impact on the poor. This has been the inspiration for his new series of drawings done in the lockdown period; Candid images of ordinary people, sitting and chatting, walking, their struggles and their eyes conveying different emotions showcase the complexities. The meticulously detailed images — be it a thick flowy beard or faded designs on a sari— the precision with which the artist has drawn on these figures gives a realistic feeling. Legacy and art
A resident of Hyderabad for the past 30 years, Sesha belongs to a family of sculptors and goldsmiths from Ongole. His grandfather Lakshmacharyulu was a noted sculptor of his times and had done the makara thoranam, a carved arch inside the Tirumala temple. The family legacy helped Shesha get an opportunity to paint Lord Venkateshwara. He recalls, “TTD wanted to create a calendar on the nethra darshanam on Thursdays. I was only 19 when they gave me a chance to sit inside Tirumala’s garbha gudi every Thursday for four weeks, to look at the God and paint.”
With his interest in drawing, he worked with signboard artists and art teachers to eventually join Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University in ’92. However, he was not regular to classes and found solace in travelling around the country, meeting people and knowing their stories. “It was fascinating to meet strangers and talk to them for hours on work and how they carry on with their lives. That’s when I developed a bond with common people and I like to showcase their character,” he says.
Ever since, ordinary people have been his muse and he revels painting them in a hyper-realistic mode. First, he takes their photographs and then paints. These interactions have also taught him many skills. He adds, “I have also observed that they are too involved with work as it gives them immense happiness. I have learnt from them to be equipped with different skills. I have learnt sculpting, tailoring, cooking, making logo designs and even writing. I am not an expert in these fields but they keep me active and creative.” He also used the lockdown period to complete pending artworks. He is also commissioned to do works that portray gods; one such recent such work of his was on Sai Baba. (Sesha Brahmam’s works can be viewed on his Facebook page)
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