Artist from Yadadri-Bhongir excels at national, international platforms

Yadadri-Bhongir: Poverty was not an obstacle for Santosh Kotagiri to pursue his interest in painting. Not just painting, but he excelled in a most complex art form – the surreal paintings.

Santosh Kotagiri, who hails from a poor familly exhibited his rare skills in painting as a child and his father encouraged him by sending to a drawing teacher working in a government school.

The teacher mentored him and Santosh honed his skills. Hailing from a remote village Mandanapal in Alair mandal, he proved his mettle in several national and international painting shows with his paintings based on surrealism. His paintings were displayed at three solo shows and 18 exhibitions where he laurels. He has also participated in painting shows held in Singapore and South Africa and proved that there were no geographical boundaries to the excellent skills of artists.

Santhosh has received many awards including Andhra Pradesh Art and Craft Best Child Artist award in 1992. Speaking to Telangana Today, Santhosh said surrealism is a visual artwork and writings and the juxtaposition of uncommon imagery. Arts of surrealism would be based on the subconscious of a person. In Surrealism, the artist would go to the canvas without plan and idea on the painting. The paintings of surrealism would reveal the connection of one and another things in state of mind in subconscious condition, he explained.

As a person from a poor farmer’s family, he faced financial problems to continue in the field, but he never was discouraged. By working as an art teacher in a school for the last 10 years to meet the expenses of his family, he has continued in creating wonderful arts in surrealism.

This master of fine arts in painting from Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University said that there was a lot of fragmentation and distortion in his work and none was pre-conceived. He would sit in front of the canvas like in meditation, the cosmic energy guides his brush and it helps him to get into the mood of painting. It is important for artists who work with surrealism themes to be calm and meditative.