Born in Kerala in 1966, Roy Thomas completed his Bachelors from the College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala University, followed by a Masters in Painting from the College of Arts, New Delhi in 1993. He was also awarded the national research grant from Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi that same year.
Roy Thomas’ works are a deeply inspired from his immediate surroundings. He seeks to represent the feelings of angst and turmoil as experienced by the common people due to the corrupt socio-political environment of the country. His earlier works from the 1990’s were created using tarpaulin as opposed to a regular canvas. The medium he chose to express those feelings of existential crisis served as a symbol for the struggles of the common man due to its nature as a commonly used material by the masses. His images have also depicted the issues of child labour and the uprooted lives of Mumbai’s bar girls.
He was heavily influenced by the works of Raja Ravi Varma and his unique ability to blend the western techniques of portraiture with Indian themes. Some of his recent works are a direct amalgamation of Varma’s compositions with works of popular Western masters such as Paul Gaugin. ‘’The juxtaposed images in my canvas speak about time frames and ideas that shaped my artistic oeuvre in contemporary times. Through these depictions, I intend to bridge the continental gap of the East and the West”, says Thomas.
His works have been a part of several shows in India and internationally, and are housed at various private and public collections such as the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; the Lalit Kala Akademi Regional Centre, Chennai to name a few.