Born in 1980 at Gajwel, artist T. Venkanna confronts the stereotypical ways that define and contrive sexuality, becoming the dominant subject matter of his practice. He often focuses on a sexual fantasy to create an escape from the suffocating yet habitual norms and conditions of society – with the simple act of day-dreaming. In this endeavor, Venkanna rediscovers certain motifs taken from artists Hockney, Rousseau, and Mondrian, along with specific forms of traditional art. He then subverts each work, contextualizing a historic visual within contemporary political discourse.
Venkanna’s practice imbibes a wide range of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, and performance. His crucial linguistic device is formed by integrating the personal, social, and ultimately the political. For instance, his last solo exhibition, ‘Looking for Peace,’ explored death in a time of war - for him, the remnants of tragedy persist long after the violence ceases.
Venkanna holds a M.F.A in printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda and a B.F.A. in painting from J.N.T.U, Hyderabad, where he was awarded the Gold Medal. He has exhibited his works extensively, including Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Taipei; Sharjah Art Museum, UAE; Galerie Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna, Austria; NGMA, Mumbai; Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Noida; Prague Biennale 5, Czech Republic; and CSMVS Museum, Mumbai.
Venkanna lives and works in Baroda, India.