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Rameshwar Broota

Indian Contemporary Artist
Born 1941, New Delhi
Lives and works in New Delhi

Rameshwar Broota is famous for his unique technique of scraping off the paint with blade to create forms. His works have shifted focus from depicting human struggle and brutality to more aesthetic and serene elements and man's place in them. He has a keen interest in photography and creating short films. He is the head of the Art Department at Triveni Kala Sangram since 1967.



Degree in Fine Art, College of Art, New Delhi

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UNDERSTANDING Rameshwar Broota

Broota uses his 'unconscious' to express political underpinnings

Broota started out with works which were a fusion of the real and the mythical. He draws images and icons that are all part of his subconscious self. "The unconscious is a store house of immense knowledge and impressions which an individual absorbs and retains with him. When he assumes the body of an infant, he inherits the sum total of the experiences of his predecessor from time immemorial ",says Broota in an article. For instance, in his Gorilla series, he expresses his anguish at the greed and corruption existing in the society through bright and amusing depictions of 'humanized' gorillas that represent the "pillars of society" namely the police officers, military generals and the judiciary, depicting in vulnerable situations.

Rameshwar Broota, Havaldar - III, 1980, oil on canvas, 50 x 70".

His digital prints are a blend of photorealism and abstraction

His fascination for details and accuracy led him to embrace technology. The process in Broota's work is intuitive, but it draws heavily on his long nurtured passion for photography and the intricacies of the photographic process.

He believes that digital photography is a lot like painting in the sense that the artist has control over usage of colours, brushes and the technique to recreate a picture. His digital prints are a blend of photorealism and abstraction like two human fingers surreally merging with one another to create an illusionary body, seen in one of his untitled photographs. His prints, unlike his paintings, have a ruminative feel to them.

Rameshwar Broota, Untitled 2, 2006, photograph editions 20, 40 x 60"

The shift in his imagery from

He states that his earlier works had a political element to them, depicting the struggle of man in times of corruption in his paintings but later felt that art has to be universal. So he shifted his focus to aesthetics and the pictorial element in paintings. His recent works are a combination of abstract and figurative compositions, comprising of male bodies - reduced to its parts, internal and external - nerves, protruding ribs, veins, folded knee, and a muscular torso -usually disrupted by geometric shapes.

Rameshwar Broota, Untitled, 2004, oil on canvas, 30 x 30".

He wields a 'reverse' technique to build images on canvas

Broota evolved a unique technique of rendering in oil on canvas by scraping off the layers of paint with blade. Over the years, he perfected this technique that he had accidently discovered. The process involves first applying thin coats of paint, notably silver, deep ochres, and modified tones of black, followed by a final coat in a dark colour and then scratching and scraping away the upper layers of painting with a knife or a blade, to create bold and spontaneous monochromatic forms that have a quality of a graphic print. He was of the view that a figure could as well be revealed or evacuated from its depths; it need not necessarily be imposed on a canvas.

Rameshwar Broota, Perennial Power – I, 2007, oil on canvas, 25.3 x 25.3.