[“Flick That Chip off Your shoulder” street art mural by Indonesian artist Eko Nugroho in Hosier Lane and “Dilema Generasai #2″, oil & synthetic polymer paint on fiberglass steel, at National Gallery of Victoria].
Eko Nugroho (b. 1977 in Jogyakarta, Indonesia) is a contemporary Indonesian artist. Nugroho belonged to the generation of artists, who joined student and youth political activism movements called Reformasi, the ‘2000 Generation’; which were active in the late 1990s. Their political messages were based on observations and daily impressions of socio-political issues which occurred at that time.
- Nugroho’s works cross many art disciplines including public murals, paintings, drawings, embroidery, comics, video animation and contemporary wayang kulit (shadow puppets).
- Like many of his peers, he has managed to merge ‘high art’ with popular and street art, to become a successful contemporary Indonesian artist.
In 2012, Nugroho’s contribution to the RALLY: Contemporary Indonesian Art exhibition saw time for him to paint a mural which he completed in one day on a wall in Melbourne’s famous Hosier Lane.
- Entitled Flick That Chip Off Your Shoulder, it contained his signature creatures and playful elusive forms for which he has become known for.
Dilema Generasai #2 [translated: Generational Dilemma] (2012), features one of Nugroho’s helmeted figures, which reference his concerns for political and social issues affecting Indonesia’s younger generations.
- Both of these examples showcase Nugroho’s questions about humanity’s existence and ironic nature; including frivolity and dysfunctions; and the absurdity of life; which are all addressed through his comic-inspired universe populated by hybrid-aliens and bizarre narratives.
- The masks and headgear worn by his protagonists are symbols of protection and concealment, which act as metaphors for different psychological states such as detachment, isolation and indifference.
“Is It Art?”