Dodit Artawan

b. 1978, Batubulan, Indonesia
Lives and works in Bali, Indonesia

Contemporary Indonesian artist Dodit Artawan is known for his hyperrealism oil paintings that give the illusion of reality. His life in Bali has played a huge part in Dodit’s painting style. The Balinese society is very familiar with alcohol, the tradition of consuming alcohol is big both in the countryside and in the city; plus the influence of tourism which is just as thriving.

Dodit’s favourite muses – icons of western consumerism culture – in particular, Barbie dolls and western branded alcohol, a strong visual and thematically complementary combination that the artist feels are able to project the intended representational imageries for the messages that he wants to convey. Dodit Artawan portrays Barbie and her friends in their impossibly perfect figures with flawless plastic complexions set against the glistening, reflective glass towers of gin, vodkas and whiskeys to convey a seductive image of glamour, consumerism and hedonism that is so intoxicating, addictive and difficult to resist, as a commentary on the social effects of globalization and invasion of consumerism. The alcohol in most of his paintings represents the serious problem in society and even in his own life. “Alcohol in my life and alcohol in my work are two different things altogether,” said Dodit.

At first, his idea started from the local alcohol and rice wine – and then it continued to famous brands of alcohol. Dodit had also done a series of sneakers because he considers himself a sneaker freak, and has painted a series of tattoos as well. All of his works are not far from his own lifestyle. In terms of aesthetic, he was interested in the effects of reflection and transparency of the bottles, glasses, glass, water, metal, plastic, and ice cubes. That is where viewers could see the fine details in his painting.

Beyond Dodit Artawan’s impressive hyper-realistic compositions, the works’ high-definition details, vivid colours and rich textures further echo the constant visual stimulations and sales pitch for consumer products and lifestyle that is being bombarded onto society today through printed media, television, advertisements and the internet. As a result, the visually dynamic qualities of Dodit Artawan’s works and the artist’s painting hyper-realistic technique become integral to the underlying meanings that they are meant to convey.

Artawan studied fine art at the Indonesian Art Institute Denpasar Bali and started his art career in 2011. Dodit is an artist whose focus is on the breakaway from the dominance of traditional Balinese art on the contemporary art scene in order to seek new expressions for contemporary art in Bali. Dodit Artawan has been widely exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Italy and the USA. Dodit won the prestigious Bronze Award at the IWS Malaysia 1st International Watercolour Biennale (KL) in 2018.

Biography information from TAKSU, December 2022

Country: Indonesia
Social Media: @doditartawan