Ravinder Reddy (b.1956, India)

Born 1956 Suryapet, Andhra Pradesh, India, Ravinder Reddy lives and works in Visakhapatnam, India. He is one of India's most celebrated contemporary artists, his huge decorated heads have a heraldic presence. They look out frontally’ wide eye and seem to refer to other, earlier periods of civilisation, to Ancient Egypt and the early Greek. His totemic forms owe something to Pop Art. Loud, even bordering on the vulgar, they are simultaneously defiant and expectant as well tender and revealing. Beneath their crude flimsy glamour lies the expression raw feeling. 

Ravinder Reddy began making his massive monumental heads in the 80’s. They are like nothing else in contemporary art, modeled with remarkable skill and painted in dazzling colors, Ravinder Reddy fuses the Hindu sculptural tradition with a contemporary pop sensibility mixing a reverence for traditional Indian sculptural forms with an appreciation of Andy Warhol's portraits. In addition to creating a dialogue between traditional Hindu art and contemporary pop, Ravinder Reddy also reflects the way young Indian women are recreating the feminine image to merge a reverence for tradition with an embrace of the contemporary world. Their elaborate hairstyles are adorned with hundreds of delicately sculpted flowers. Many are gilded, giving them the effect of religious icons. 
 
Woman is the most enduring theme in Ravinder Reddy's oeuvre. The gargantuan heads, with their very familiar and ungainly physiologies, are vividly erotic but their worldly sensuality coexists with an other-worldly gaze in their large unblinking eyes. Reddy's women fall short from delivering themselves as the object of desire, their disembodied eyes, alternately all possessing and unseeing, transform them into formidable apparitions or comic spectacle that shifts between iconic grandeur and mocking parody. With rounded volumes and chiselled details, sporting flamboyant coiffeurs, Reddy's women are ethnic, distinctly common, suspended between the urban and the rural, a cultural hybrid. Gilded and painted, Ravinder Reddy’s heads are almost kitsch but nonchalant with a cool detached style. 

(From various sources including Deitch Projects, R Siva Kumar, Gieve Patel)

Reddy, Ravinder b.1956

artworks in collection

related artists / India / South Asia