Masuram Ravikanth’s works may first come across as dexterous renditions of royal portraits from a bygone era. These images are not mere depictions of the past but announce our position at a post-modern era which typically looks back at history, re-contextualizing memory in a new approach. His ‘Royal dict art’ series are typical of museum artifacts, narrating stories of royalty, traditions, and myths enshrined in the past yet reverberating in the present too. The nostalgia is an emotion he arduously tries to bring across through his paintings, using various motifs such as rifles, weapons, kings adorning vintage costumes, etc. Once, somebody’s private belongings now become objects of curiosity and learning for others. He captures this ambiguity and effervescent quality of life in all its grandeur and lavishness.
His more recent works are inspired by studio photography which he witnessed at his father’s photo studio as he grew up. These portraits in sepia tones juxtaposed along with contemporary imageries like ‘James Bond’ or ‘Superman’ create a witty sarcasm, as laymen become superheroes. The bright colors, a derivative of ‘Pop art’ and highly skillful rendering appropriated from Indian miniature painting styles, seem to gel without any struggle, thus generating harmonious renditions of high quality.
Ravikanth Masuram is known for bringing life to the royal portraits he has produced from the background of the subcontinent. His genius can be gaged by the fact that these portraits are not only representations of the past, but also make us aware of our role in the post-modern era, which generally looks back at us.
“Spandolika” at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Trident Hotel, Hyderabad - 2014
“Romancing the Reminiscence” at Apparao Art gallery, Chennai - 2011
“Romancing the Reminiscence” at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad - 2011
“Royal DictArt” Studio Napean, Mumbai - 2009
“No smoke without fire” Installation and Performance, at University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad - 2004
“Traversing Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow” Kalahita art gallery, Hyderabad - 2007
“Reconciling now and Then” Kalakriti art gallery Hyderabad - 2004
“Pancha Bhutas” Installation and performance, Daira art gallery Hyderabad - 2003
“The Wandering spirit” Daira art gallery Hyderabad - 2002