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Ravinder Reddy

Indian Contemporary Artist
Born 1956, Suryapet, Andhra Pradesh, India
Lives and works in Vishakhapatnam, India

Ravinder Reddy fuses traditional Hindu art and contemporary pop. Reddy uses this fusion as reflective of the contemporary women borrow modernity and traditional sense for a newer effeminate style. Essentially working with sculptures, the oversized bulge and kitschy colours define the popularity of his works. He plays with a humor and a sense of exaggeration in his works.

Education

1983

Diploma (Art and Design), Goldsmith College of Arts, University of London, London

1982

Master of Fine Arts (Creative Sculpture), Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India

1980

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture), Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India

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LIFE AND WORK

UNDERSTANDING Ravinder Reddy

The aesthetics of Reddy's works point towards a fusion of pop and folk

Ravinder Reddy’s works follow the legacy of a pop sensibility, consciously delving into the dimensions of kitsch. Bright, bold colours, with a predominance of red and gold seem to overwhelmingly mark his works. The preponderance with the adornments and ornamentation like the floral braids for the hair and earrings and nose-pins regale a traditional idea of femininity along with the elaborate hair styles, lip colour and perfectly done eye-brows refer to a marriage of the folk and pop.

This fills the statues with tension as well as a confident grace of tradition meeting modernity. The figures epitomise a sensibility emphasised on kitschy styling and folk adorning.

Ravinder Reddy, Head, 2010, hand gilded leaf gold and paint on bronze with painted steel base, 17.72 x 3.39 x 8.3”.

Monumentality of the statues creates an epic-ness in the representation of women

Ravinder Reddy’s statues are not of any realist renderings, with the statues mimicking monumentality in sizes and proportions. This provides the statute with an epic frame, transferring the statue to the dimensions of history and myth. This assertion becomes a device of empowerment for women in a more contemporaneous situation.

Head, 2008, is a large fibreglass rendering of a woman’s head with striking, emphasised facial features. The head presents the traditional adornments like the ornamentation on the hair bun, earrings and nose-pin. Alongside this, there is a propped up pair of shades atop the figure’s head as a twist to insert a “modern” signifier. The eyes are made with the most accentuation—the large, bulbous and bulging eyes providing a direct and confrontational gaze.

Ravinder Reddy, Head, 2008, painted polyester resin fibreglass, 88 x 62 x 74”.

Reddy's works confront present notions of the woman's body

Reddy re-focuses the body of the woman around questions of censorship, taboo and representation. He harks back to the rich past of temple sculptures where the nude representation of women was in routine artistry. But owing to a regressive development of patriarchy and sanctioning through the new ideas of the sacred, the body of the woman is now shrouded in questions of censorship and concealment.

Reddy’s statutes are always in the nude, if it is a full-bodied representation, or sometimes clad in a diaphanous sheet, with all parts of the female anatomy in full display. This can assume a stance of provocation and more significantly, for the artist, to confront the viewer with the disconsonant representation of women in present and the past.

Ravinder Reddy, Untitled, 2010

The figure of the woman is the compass to Reddy's artistic milieu

The figure of the woman becomes the core of Ravinder Reddy’s works. The figuration of women becomes diverse, with multitudes of shapes and sizes, ornate hairdos and oftentimes stylised features. Symbolism also pre-figures in such sculpting, with different motifs alluding to typical characteristics that mark the figure of the woman, especially in a traditional Indian context, while at the same time forging ahead to be comfortable within a modern, contemporary world.

Stepping Out, 2008, is an 8-foot, 10-inch tall figure of a woman, gilded in gold, naked and standing atop a platform resembling a stone afresh with leaves and flowers, and water running through. This natural setting with her hand clutching onto to stems of flowers allude to women symbolising fertility. The figure seems to be entrenched with nature, her body in perfect harmony with the stalks of flowers around her and her confident gait on the seemingly slippery stone.

Ravinder Reddy, Stepping Out, 2008, gilded and painted polyester resin fibreglass, 106 x 40 x 40”.

The different styling of hair becomes an intricate and integral part of Reddy's sculptures

Reddy’s sculptures can often be studies in the idea of what constitutes beauty in hair. His works explore the multiple sides of femininity, one emphatic aspect being the ornamentation of the hair. His sculptures display a heightened sense of conscious and intricate styling of hair and its ornamentation. Different buns and braids offer multiple designs in floral or cosmetic adoration.

Studying Reddy’s sculptures would provide insights into the diversity that most notably Indian women can display on the beautification of hair. Traditional ways of tying up the hair with flowers and more contemporaneous hair-bun nets, they all figure in his sculptures.

Ravinder Reddy, Krishnaveni I, 1997, painted and guilded polyester-resin fibreglass, 75 x 72 x 73”.

Bibliography