Saturday, January 17, 2009

`Knock out!' gets political

Fri, 01/16/2009 5:36 PM | Lifestyle

Yogyakarta painter Luddy Astaghis is bringing his work to Jakarta for his second solo exhibition, which satirizes Indonesian politics.

"Knock Out!", as the exhibition is called, is open at Cityloft Podium in Citywalk Sudirman in Central Jakarta until Jan. 20.

On display at the exhibition are paintings of distorted figures and faces inspired, Luddy says, by reflections as seen in the rearview mirror of a motorcycle.

The main characters featuring in his works are an ambiguous combination of athletic male bodies and grotesque faces.

The 32-year-old painter, who held his first solo exhibition in 2004, says his work reflects attitudes toward the country's politicians: "bitter but sometimes inviting laughter".

"Godaan Maut" (Grave Temptation, 2009), for example, portrays two athletic men leering at a woman behind them, in a reference to sex scandals involving politicians and government officials.

The painting titledBesar Kiriku Besar" (Big on My Right, Big on My Left) shows two big and hefty men squeezing a small, thin body between them, reminding us that disputes between prominent political figures take place at the expense of the people.

Luddy says the titleOut!" contains nuances of "fighting", which, he says, has escalated in the past year, meaning "those who are not properly prepared will be knocked out during the fight". --JP/Matheos V. Messakh

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