My Lonely Riot By Ugo Untoro | Bali Travel News, July/August 2006

Ugo Untoro is a renowned painter / artist, known for his corat-coret (‘scribbling’, ‘casual drawing’) style. Because of international tourism that is attracted by this island of art, he decided to exhibit his artworks in Bali. He began developing his style in the mid-1990s, marked by the heading he gave to his first solo exhibition, ‘Corat-coret Ugo Untoro’ (1991-’95)’. The style stemmed from his desire to move away from the painting style developed at the Art School in Jogja that compelled individual painters to paint in certain established styles. With his corat-coret ‘casual drawing’ he feels that he escaped the trapping of established styles, which he regards as restraining. "I don’t follow a kind of art ideology because I just want to express everything in my mind through the art work" said this man born on June 28, 1970.

Also, he’s been interested in graffiti. He even identifies his personal style as graffiti on canvas. Generally speaking, artists in Jogja – where Ugo developed his art – have a good command of a style known as sketsa, sketch drawing. The style is seen as highly effective as a means for artists to develop their painting since drawing sketches is supposedly helpful for artists in elaborating their perception and combining it with their manual skill that provides the main assets in painting.

The artist has a strong interest in verses. " I’m interested in verses too, because through this kind of art it also can be my inspiration to make an artwork" stated this man when he held his solo exhibition at Seminyak, Kuta (30/7-28/8). His affinity for poetical lines has encouraged him to incorporate written words that often serve as the titles of his works. In terms of origins, the written texts may come from, or be inspired by, the writing of poets Ugo admires, but more often they originate from the headings of other kinds of connotative texts that he picks and adapts.

The fluency of his drawn lines is parallel with his execution in writing down the poetic titles. This gives the impression of the supposed similarity or parallelism between the visual and the literal: writing generates images, yet images can be ‘read’ as something literal just because both have the seeds of poetry in themselves. Ut pittura poesis.

Images in his works always have the appearance of fragments, cuts or episodes selected as the most stirring or touching. The images of blank corners feel so empty in his painting and watercolor drawing. The loneliness of the horizons is painful and appalling because there we find distorted figures, isolated and critical, ever disquieting to us and tearing our imaginations of things familiar to us. The image of corner springs from the famous series of corners that he made in the past decade. The series has retained its prolonged reverberations in all kinds of Ugo’s works since then.

Viewing Ugo Untoro’s works is witnessing how a feeling of lonesomeness gives birth to commotions that reveal the layers of our awareness as human beings. With his works, Ugo has identified and interpreted the commotions with his characteristic and gloomy anthropomorphism.(BTN/rai)