Ryo Laksamana

b. 1993, Banyuwangi, Indonesia
Lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Ryo Laksamana (a.k.a. Ryol) blends childlike fancy with nods to pop culture and beyond. His paintings and drawings depict young people with enormous, emotive eyes. The artist cites Yoshitomo Nara as a key stylistic influence, and his earlier works have a more sombre tone. Their pop-surrealist style is made up of muted, smoothly blended oils. Around 2020, the artist began creating works with a more light-hearted feel. His technique involves applying layer upon layer of acrylic, pastel and crayon. Occasionally he adds splashes of paint or uses stencils. While still portraits, the mark-making is more visible, colourful and playful.

When he was a kid, Ryol would scribble onto his history books in school. This mode of appropriation remains in his practice today. Art historical and pop cultural references are layered throughout, with some paintings based on Neo-Expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Others reimagine Pokémon cards, characters from the Flintstones or smartphone interfaces. ‘Pop culture in Indonesia is consumerism,’ says the artist. As such, Ryol reflects the world that surrounds him – filtering mass culture through a fun, youthful lens.


Country: Indonesia
Instagram: ryol.id