How artist Maredu Ramu gives ‘street art’ a whole new meaning

“There’s nothing mysterious about my work. I paint what the common man will understand — scenes from day-to-day life — which I capture by observing my surroundings,” says Hyderabad-based artist Maredu Ramu. “Like most artists, I am influenced and inspired by my surroundings.”

“Autorickshaws, tea shops, Hyderabadi biryani and special Irani chai — there is no planning. I paint as I see them and it is usually what makes one smile,” says the artist, talking about the spontaneous nature of his process.

A picture is worth a 1,000 words and Maredu’s paintings negate the need for elaboration. In every piece, one can see Nature striving with civilization — trees burst into bloom at drab construction sites, while brilliantly plumed birds perch on autorickshaws as man tries to make sense of the chaos he has created.

Work by artist Maredu Ramu

Work by artist Maredu Ramu
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Using bold brush strokes and bright colours, Maredu vividly captures the fading innocence of a world he once knew. “I began to notice the change in my surroundings; how the ancient rock landscape of Hyderabad was changing into a concrete jungle. This had an impact on me and I began to capture every instance of this encroachment in public places I would come across, with my work.”

Hailing from an agricultural family in Peddapalli in Telangana, Maredu says he was not too academically inclined as a child. “I was only interested in drawing,” he laughs, adding that it was his art teacher who saw beyond his doodling and encouraged him to take up art for his higher studies.

His pursuit of a Masters in Fine Arts from Central University In Hyderabad, exposed Maredu to the sculptures of Mohenjo-daro and the classic beauty of Raja Ravi Varma’s work as well as European masters such as Van Gogh. He also became aware of the gradual shift in art over the years — from a world of brush, paint and canvas to digitisation.

Work by artist Maredu Ramu

Work by artist Maredu Ramu
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Maredu says as part of the college curriculum, all students had to try their hand at various media and he took a liking to acrylics.

While most of his work depicts how the urban concrete jungle is taking up rural agriculture space, Maredu also enjoys representing aspects of Telangana culture such as Bhatukamma and Vaikuntam-style paintings through his work. He also creates installations based on real-life incidents using fibre, wood or stone, “as needed by the subject”.

As a full-time artist constantly documenting his surroundings, Maredu says his travels to cities such as Bengaluru are an eyeopener to the effects of globalisation. “It’s not just Hyderabad, it is true of any city; wherever you go greenery is shrinking and the chirping of birds are lost, replaced by sounds of the city.”

Twenty-two canvases, ranging in size from 1×1 to 3×3 feet, are a part of Walk Through the City and will be on display at MKF Museum of Art till April 30, 2023.

Work by artist Maredu Ramu

Work by artist Maredu Ramu
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Work by artist Maredu Ramu

Work by artist Maredu Ramu
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Artist Maredu Ramu

Artist Maredu Ramu
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Artist Maredu Ramu at work

Artist Maredu Ramu at work
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Work by artist Maredu Ramu

Work by artist Maredu Ramu
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

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