It is definitely a homecoming of sorts for Hyderabad-born, New York-based artist Rasika Reddy, as she prepares to showcase her collection of 19 paintings titled Sacred Vanity 2, at Kalakriti Art Gallery
This is not the first time that Rasika has held a show in Hyderabad, she has already exhibited her paintings four times at different art galleries in the City. Rasika’s latest collection is titled Sacred Vanity 2, an extension of an earlier collection of the same name which was exhibited in New Jersey and for which she received rave reviews. The title to her collection immediately arouses interest and Rasika explains the reason for using two opposites. “Vanity for the West may mean something egotistical but in India it’s not to be related to the superficial or the ego, here it links to more than just surface adornment and beauty, it’s more divine. Sacred Vanity is a celebration of the multi-faceted woman in a modern world,” she says.
“This series is a dramatic departure from the last show I held in Hyderabad; both in terms of the style as well as content. While my earlier work had more to do with the cultural amalgamation from around the world, my new work is specifically related to women,” she adds.
The intention behind having a part two to an earlier series, she says is personal. “In this series, I hope to engage the viewer in a more direct and personal way. I would like them to look at these works as a single entity and not analyse each work separately. The portraits of women are presented as real women with different personalities, ranging from serene to defiant to downright aggressive. Some faces draw you in while the others may push you back,” explains Rasika.
The theme, she says, is something most people in India will connect to as the concept is of a powerful goddess who can create, nurture, or destroy. “I feel that the man/woman balance can be restored only when women are accepted for what they are and not judged or discarded as inferior,” she says. Rasika hopes that through her collection, the modern woman emerges strong and believes that this aspect of woman is natural and intrinsic to her being and should be accepted.
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Am a dreamer, writer and traveller. Still trying to find my niche but what counts is being able to give wings to my imagination.