Well-established as a figurative painter, Masriadi's decade-long practice of painting figures of various types has yielded a number of memorable pictorial characters. Sportsmen and women - recurring subjects in his works - sit alongside more ordinary plebeians situated within existing power relations. In the first few years of his practice immediately preceding as well as closely following his exit from the Institut Seni Indonesia in 1998, Masriadi painted a variety of figures, rendered in an abstract visual vocabulary or more realistically.
Lot 23, a triptych - Cocok hidung (Nose piercing); Eksperimen (Experiment); I love Elvis - depicts three such figures, each nestled within a self-contained world but are in fact being juxtaposed and placed alongside each other by the artist delighting in the contractions and ambiguities that results from apprehending the unlikely trio. The self-inflicted pain of the cowboy figure on the extreme left is contrasted with an even stronger picture of absurdity in the panel where an astronaut wryly dangles a fish out of water and literally in thin air. On the extreme right, the figure of Elvis revels in sadomasochistic delight, tied down and being assailed by love punches raining in from all directions. Tying together the trio is the shared consciousness of discomfort and pain, though not all of it involuntary and unwelcome. The unlikely trinity of pain as this triptych might well be known hints at any number of present and hidden realities as well as untold or explicit desires arising from the particularities of Masriadi's personal and family life.