Born 1971 Kerala, India
Riyas Komu’s photo realist portraits depict ordinary, everyday people from his native Kerala. Riyas Komu is a communist but his paintings reflect a less outspoken side to his ideology in which a concern for humanity is portrayed in highly charged images of faces. Riyas Komu exhibited in the 2007 Venice Biennale and aims to highlight the changing face of the Indian streets where imported glamour sits alongside inherited poverty. Riyas Komu’s portraits cleberate the humble person in the crowd, highlighting beauty in the unremarkable. Riyas Komu is one a few Indian artists who have broken away from the orthodoxies of provincialism and the angst-ridden reworking of the subcontinent’s dilemma about independence versus assimilation and appropriation to make artworks that are genuinely concerned with the position of the mass of the people in a rapidly developing and dividing society that is modern India.