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About Theo Frids Hutabarat

Born: 1987, Jakarta, Indonesia

Lives and works Bandung, Indonesia


BFA, Bandung Institute of Technology

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Up and coming contemporary artists - chosen by experts

Theo Frids Hutabarat

Practice: painting

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 Indonesian art is currently very much in vogue, its rising stars avidly pursued by both homegrown and international collectors.

Output seems to fall roughly into two stylistic camps: strongly localised, informed by traditional crafts such as batik and wayang puppetry; and practices that co-opt and subtly redefine western artistic heritage and techniques.

Theo Frids Hutabarat, an emerging figurative painter with a passion for Egon Schiele, clearly falls into the latter camp.

In works that consist, essentially, of painted records of an image projection (the idea of psychological projection also seems relevant), the twist is that Hutabarat includes himself, or other subjects, within the composition.

The resulting intertwining of limbs, gender, ethnicity and, indeed, painterly styles not only provides a neat, intensely visual reading of the experiencing of art, it also succintly refers to the widespread assimilation of non-indigenous histories within the Indonesian art scene.

It's interesting, too, that Hutabarat's repurposing of Schiele (an artist who once scandalised Viennese society with his frank accounts of sexuality) still requires subtle editing for Indonesian viewers: as Hutabarat has pointed out, "It's still not quite acceptable in Indonesia to paint nude works."

Whether Hutabarat has quite what it takes to rouse international interest remains to be seen, but we're convinced of his success amongst the many collectors of South-East Asian art.

Added August 2012

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