Lure of the mythological


The art community lost another shining artist Rajeshwar Nyalapalli who passed away in a road accident on November 18. Known for his mythology-inspired artworks, his works drew heavily on Gods, Goddesses and the Sri Yantra. Hailing from Dubbaka in Medak, he began painting from an early age. Getting a start in a field like art isn’t easy. After doing a lot of commercial work like making banners, signboards, cutouts and concept work, he also worked at a newspaper as an illustrator for four years.

The jump into full-time painting happened in 2011 and Rajeshwar began working on different series centred on mythological stories. Over the next couple of years, he would garner a reputation for his beautiful figurative works which were displayed in group shows at Iconart Gallery, State Art Gallery, Deccan Art Foundation and in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chandigarh and abroad.

After much struggle, he tasted success with online sites and individual buyers showing an interest in acquiring his works. A do-gooder, according to his friends, he regularly conducted art camps for people who had an interest in art and also trained people in the technique of temple painting.

His friends, who were closely associated with him during his struggling days, recall fond memories working with him. Artist Kandi Narsimulu remembers having many discussions with him about offering a platform to talented artists in rural areas. The duo was, in fact, together on the day of Rajeshwar’s untimely death. “My village is very near to his hometown. So, we would go together for art camps and often talked about ways to create a place to develop and encourage different styles of art in Siddipet. He was a very hard worker and never gave up hope. He was highly influenced by mythological works and I remember the last series he was working on was around Goddess Durga. He wasn’t eating very well also as he just wanted to focus on his series. His death has left a void in the community,” says Narsimulu.

Not many know that Rajeshwar also played an active role in the Hyderabad Art Society. Artist and president Ramana Reddy adds that he was like a right-hand to him and was always a reliable figure when it came to organising camps and exhibitions. “He had developed a great following with his works. And many of us didn’t know that he was conducting temple painting lessons for a diverse age group. Upon hearing the news of his passing, one of his students, an elderly man who took up temple painting in a village out of passion, came to pay his respects – which is how he is. He was very keen that villages should get art centres,” adds Ramana, who, along with other artists, is now looking to help the family of Rajeshwar Nyalapalli. He is survived by his wife, an artist herself, a 16-year-old son in intermediate first year and a daughter.

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