Thota Vaikuntam was born in Andhra Pradesh and studied at the college of Fine Arts and Architecture, Hyderabad. In 1971, he won the Lalit Kala Akademy Fellowship to study at the M.S. University, Baroda. He has had several solo Shows in Delhi, Mumbai and various cities in South India. His works have also been exhibited in New York, London, Dubai, Birmingham and Kassel. His work was shown at the VII Triennale, Delhi and he has also exhibited with Saffronart in Los Angeles & Hong Kong in 2001. He won the Bharat Biennale Award, Bhopal in 1988, as well as the National Award for Painting from the Government of India in 1993. He lives and works in Hyderabad.
His paintings capture simple lifestyle of villagers like the paddy fields, toddy pots on shoulders of men, the household chores, temple rituals, etc. His drawings range from stark charcoal on paper, transparent washes and pencil drawings. The love for women in his paintings can be traced back to his childhood fascination of the impersonations of women characters by the male artists of the theatre groups performing in his village.