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`Nose'talgic art


Wouldn't you just love to have a few deft strokes on canvas that would make people exclaim, "Oh what an interesting painting!"

Now all you need is a drawing sheet and some poster colours. Mix a few colours on a palette, add a few drops of water and decide upon what you want to paint. Now hold the paper in front of you and apply some colour on your nose. What for? To paint of course!

You don't need a bundle of brushes to make the kind of paintings Satyavolu Rambabu specialises in. Your good old nose will do.

Well, normal is boring for this 26-year-old self-taught artist, who hails from Vegiwada near the west Godavari district. What triggered Satyavolu's passion was an urge to do "something different".

At school, he took painting lessons and later began learning on his own. Satyavolu is a painter who has held shows in various States and has won Nation recognition. He does nail etching and finger painting and has been doing nose painting for the last six years. Hours of practice and hundreds of paintings led to the final pieces. Satyavolu has over 50 pieces, which he has painted with his nose. "My first nose painting was of Lord Ganesha. I practiced for long before I finally got the shades right. I do not make any outline sketches for these paintings. I make changes as I paint with my nose," says the artist.

It was a proud moment for him when, in Vijayawada, he painted the portrait of the President, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. His creativity and love for colours unfold through his nose paintings of the Taj Mahal, Radha and Lord Krishna, Mountains, Swans and the Charminar. "I took quite a few days to complete my painting of Radha and Krishna." Among the portraits are those of Mother Teresa, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore and Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

The wish to enter the `Guinness Book of World Records' seems to be the motivating factor for Satyavolu. "My family encourages me, as do my friends, but the Government has not extended any assistance so far. I do not sell my nose paintings."

Satyavolu has exhibited his paintings and participated in competitions held in Mumbai, Delhi and Lucknow. He has won many a prize for his paintings. This is the first time that he has brought his nose-paintings for a show.

S.S.

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