Roby Dwi Antono
Roby Dwi Antono’s singular visual language forges connections between classical renaissance artworks, futurism, fantasy and surrealism, drawing inspiration from science fiction and natural history.
Roby Dwi Antono’s singular visual language forges connections between classical renaissance artworks, futurism, fantasy and surrealism, drawing inspiration from science fiction and natural history. His work, labelled as contemporary surrealism, is filled with paradoxical characters, comprising human, animal and alien elements. Blending wide eyed figures with mythological creatures and pop cultural icons, these artworks are combinations of real people, memory and elements of Antono’s imagination.
The artist’s characters, made up of juxtapositions, represent the two sides to life: the good and the bad. These contrasts, as stark as they may seem, often result in a sense of harmony for the artist. Antono’s ideas often come to him in unexpected ways; he always starts with sketches, relying heavily on a small sketchbook he carries with him to draft his images and ideas. He then instinctively decides on an idea before choosing a sketch and taking it to the canvas, composing his larger works using a grid system.
Heavily influenced by the American pop surrealists, Mark Ryden and Marion Peck, Antono frequently challenges himself to create works that enliven the emotions of his viewers. He leaves visual hints here and there that induce a sense of melancholy or curiosity. Through his works, Antono encourages us to decipher our own personal meanings and messages. In this sense, his artworks open up an engaging dialogue between artist and viewer.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Roby Dwi Antono is based in Yogyakarta in Indonesia, a cultural hub with a flourishing art scene. Antono studied graphic design with a publishing focus but continued to make art in his spare time. He originally moved to Yogyakarta as an illustrator after completing his studies. In 2012, he was offered his first solo exhibition and from that point on he dedicated his life to a career as an artist. His second solo show, entitled January in the North, took place in Jakarta, Indonesia. His subsequent solo exhibition, Southern Monster, Northern Child, was presented in Manila as Antono’s first exhibition outside Indonesia. These shows opened the artist’s work to a wider audience, making room for other collaborations. Antono has presented widely in international group exhibitions and has an upcoming solo show with Unit London, opening in December 2021.