Work from Imajinasi, a recent exhibition of Roby Dwi Antono’s meticulously detailed pencil drawings
I don’t know what it is, but artists I’ve been stumbling across of late, who possess overwhelming creative talent, are surprisingly young. Take Brit designer Kyle Bean, whom I interviewed last week, at 25 is the golden boy of set design, and Chinese born New Zealander Shiping Toohey who at 20 is creating innovative industrial technology. This morning over my morning coffee, my pulse skipped a beat or two when I cast my eye over the work of Indonesian illustrator Roby Dwi Antono. His abundant talent belies his youth. At 22 he has already reached the lofty heights of pop surrealist artists, Mark Ryden and Marion Peck, to which he aspires. Not at all one for surrealist art, finding it often morbid or alienating, these drawings have an incredibly endearing, gentle quality reminiscent of Christchurch surrealist artist, Alaina Rhind (interviewed here). Like Rhind, Dwi Antono’s exceptionally detailed pencil drawings coax the viewer deep into the dream-like recesses of his colourful imagination. For Dwi Antono’s most recent exhibition, Imajinasi, he used the childhood dreams of friends and family of varying ages, as a source of inspiration. Drawing, Roby believes, is the “mother of the beauty of visual art”, explaining that all art first begins with a sketch or drawing.
Kincy, the rabbit who appears throughout Antono’s work, symbolises a sensitivity to beauty and mystery and is opposed to “violence, criticism, untidiness, and filthiness”. This character Antono explains, acts as his alter ego. This iconic character was the perfect mascot to grace the cover of Danish five piece band, Sleep Party People’s lastest album, We Were Drifting on a Sad Song, as the band members don rabbit masks on stage to overcome their shyness – how sweet!
To see a short video of Dwi Antono’s fascinating creative process click here.
Working from his studio in Yogyakarta, Dwi Antono illustrates for magazines, album covers for bands, and takes commissions for portraits, which are stunningly beautiful (see above).Although he says he has no plans as yet to sell his artwork online, if you’re interested in any of his work or would like to commission one, you can contact him directly here. If you’re about in Jakata next month, look out for Roby’s work at the Bazaar Art exhibition.
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