© 1997

Ugo Untoro

It started from boredom as I faced a canvas or support, because it looked
like I was merely led by habit and my eyes when it came to the use of
colors, lines, composition, theme, all the techniques and effects. There
were times when all I wanted was to tear it apart and walked away from it.
From there I continued to seek what and how is painting. I tried to read
books on fine art. But these were only added to my frustration. Everything
has been found and our seniors have been there first. I don't have to follow
form, since there was Delacroix, Manet, Monet, or Seurat. I don't have to
pursue lines, for there have been Durer, Matisse, Miro or Oesman Effendi. I
don't have to seek content, because I know Van Gogh, Gauguin, Dali, Rusli or
Amang Rahman. Not to mention the geniuses like Michelangelo, Da Vinci,
Picasso, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Paul Klee.

My journey came to something in 1991. I concluded that however painting is
about pouring out or put into images what one feels inside, borrowing forms
from nature or from 'the inside', from within ourselves.

I started anew from there. I began to think up and then adopted the habit of
making little sketches as a medium that is fit into the shoes of a painter.
Afterward I pour out my attention to anything that I could find as the
'canvas' to say whatever I felt and thought, honestly, freely: a canvas,
scraps of used paper, walls, blackboards, even diaries.

My journey continues until today after I started to feel how good it is to
'paint', not just 'making paintings'. I do not care about forms, lines,
composition, techniques, or any -ism within the fine art world. I paint on
anything, with anything, using whatever technique, about anything that's
there inside me when I am face-to-face with something to paint on. I believe
that when I am hungry then whatever I paint is going to sing the tunes of
hunger. When I am alone, silent, soft, dark, restless, choked, or screaming,
whatever I paint would say it honestly and becomes the medium that channels
the feeling without hesitation. I do not need themes, contents, or messages
to transmit through my art. I do not see beauty and order as the ultimate
priority. Good or bad, pretty or ugly, it is my painting, it is what I feel,
it is what I want it to be.

A canvas or support, finally only becomes a kind of basket that would host
every ideas, complaints, hopes, howls, or hopelessness that is put into it

The graffiti we can find anywhere, on the city walls, the bridges, scraps of
paper, engraving on trees, often force us to smile, to get upset, to be
embarrassed, to grunt, to be moved into tears, or at least force us to raise

Those things make me feel like I am not alone.