When one looks at Rustums work, rustic, raw, and potent might be the first words that come to mind. His portraits of men and women represent the dynamic Indian ethos rather than particular individual identities. A recurrent theme with the artist is that of the erotic, treated as an active and powerful aspect of male and female sexuality and existence. Rustum’s work is dramatic; his protagonists are raw and vivacious in their appeal, imbibed with energy that reverberates through his strokes and textures. Most of Rustum’s art is centered on the rural, recreating landscapes from his childhood as if they were frozen in time. In the artist’s later work, his figures turn softer, more introspective than brash in their outlook.
Recently, the artist has worked on a series of lush landscapes in vivid colors reminiscent of his youth spent in rural Andhra Pradesh. Like most of the artist’s work, these are generally executed in a miniature format, in what is perhaps an attempt to create an intimate atmosphere in which the viewer can engage directly with his creations.