Before Laxman Aelay chose to become a professional artist, he was a signboard painter and then a much sought after and respected designer and illustrator of books. His work was highly thought of within Telugu literary circles, but soon the painter in him compelled Aelay to enroll in college for a degree in Fine Arts, even though he had already received a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
Laxman Aelay was born in the Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh in 1964. He received his BA in Painting from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University College of Fine Arts in Hyderabad, and took up full time freelance painting straight after that. Laxman's paintings are nostalgic, depicting the rural people he grew up amongst. His source of inspiration has been the live of these poverty stricken people from his village - Kadirenigudem.
Recently, Aelay switched over from using white, black and shades of gray, which he preferred in his paintings, to using vivid colours to depict flowers, jewellery and traditional clothing. His earlier preference to paint on large sized canvases and papers has also been abandoned, and his latest works are much smaller and compact. Aelay has received international recognition as well as several awards and gold medals for his works. These include an award from the Hyderabad Art Society in 1995.
This young and talented artist held his first solo show at the Indian Council of Cultural Relations Art Gallery in Hyderabad in1999. Laxman has participated in several important exhibitions of paintings including 'Contemporary Deccan - A New Generation of Artists,' held in Hyderabad in1999 and the 7th Group show at the Surya Art Gallery, Hyderabad in 2000. He has also represented the country in an international exposition organised by TAANA in Chicago, USA in 1995.