Chennai-based Artist Abused for Nude Paintings

  • 06 May 2019

Ramya Sadasivam is a self-taught artist who decided to spread her message of love and acceptance through her art. Her oil paintings, however, have not been well received because of the subject – nude paintings. 

“I was in fact drawn into becoming an artist mainly because of nude art. I have received a lot of negative feedback, and I know people here do not understand nude art for what it is. I want to educate them, even if it is in my own small way,” she said in an interview with The News Minute.

She had hoped that by exposing her Facebook followers to paintings by renowned artists like Steven Assael and Suchitra Bhosle, they would eventually be more accepting of hers. Yet, little has changed and she has had to endure a barrage of abuse towards her work and herself.

“I know I am just a budding artist and I know it might take at least 15 years to perfect my art. But some of the negative comments I receive are very crass. In our society, nude works are always considered controversial. Some think I do this to gain attention,” shares Ramya.

“One day I received a call from someone asking the “rate” for the woman in the painting I had done. These are just some of the abuses I go through on a regular basis for wanting to practise my art,” she said. She has gone as far as painting them with a different face. “My models should feel safe and I make this little alteration to my works so that their privacy is protected.”

Ramya is more determined than ever to work on her art. “It makes me want to touch upon all that is considered controversial. It makes me want to keep perfecting my art.”

“It is natural for an Indian woman to have a broader pelvic and butt area and this anatomy has to be naturalised. Size zero, as a concept, is not natural. Similarly, I have also come to understand that the oil painting technique that was introduced in India only one century ago is more suited for paler skin. I find it even more challenging to bring out the multitude of dusky shades characteristic of Indian skin. These are things that keep me going.”

An MBA graduate, she had only started focusing on her art full-time in 2011. Back then, like all budding artists, she had her share of doubts and opposition from her family. These days, they are her biggest supporters.

“My father has helped me sell my work. Today, I can proudly say my work has sold not through any gallery but solely through my website. I have created my own network and contacts in this field,” she says.

Photo Credit: Bonsai Bumblings, The Painters Keys & Arts Illustrated

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