Edi Markas: Contrast

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Today I visited a solo exhibition by Edi Markas called “Contrast”, at the ARMA Museum in Ubud, an exhibition that was recommended during the figure drawing class.


Edi Markas, born in Surabaya in 1968 is one of the most famous Indonesian painters today. He is painting very traditional scenes of Indonesian village life: fishermen, village children riding a buffalo, legong dancers, women carrying fish, but the paintings have a clear personal style and interesting colour combinations. The scenes are almost always monochrome, with the outlines of the figures in a bright contrasting colour, like a highlight. It is unclear if it is sunlight, moon light or a lamp , which adds a sense of magic or mystery to these scenes out of ordinary life. Edi Markas is said to have developed this very special personal style , that he calls minimalism and impressionism combined, 13 years ago, according to the exhibition catalogue published by Agung Rai.




The backgrounds were often painted with thin paint blending to a smooth surface with vertical lines and then thick strokes on top for some details or the outline in contrasting colour to the background :


One canvas had a special detail: little attached speech bubbles with a conversation about Whats app.  They were simply cut out in carton and attached to the surface of the canvas.

Another interesting detail was the dates of the canvases, some from the past and some from the future- dated 2027 etc. The artist hereby showed the connection between the modern world and these very traditional scenes.

I really enjoyed this exhibition as one of the most original I have seen here- the artist clearly has a special personal technique and style. The magical or mysterious atmosphere of these daily scenes was beautiful, the use of contrasting color combinations bold and different.

((Every visitor received a catalogue and I was thrilled thinking I would thus have some good material for this blog, but the text seems completely incomprehensible all through for me. I guess getting used to the art world jargon is part of these studies.:)

“His painting creation is born from his appreciation of taste and art value attitude that will never stop, moreover it continues to flow with full rhythm in the middle of this dynamic scenery. His findings are the principles of visual disclosure with his typical personal character that pushes the quality of his artistic value. His creation not only offers the artistic touches or merely a tool to satisfy the artist’s personal ego, but presenting some peaks of his accomplished achievement with a new breath along with the innovative touch that came from a long and complicated creative process. We wish this rare momentum will make an aesthetical dialogue process more exciting in this world” etc etc etc for many pages……….)(????)



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