"I ADOPTED INFLUENCES FROM COMIC BOOKS. I ALSO OBSERVED ATHLETES IN ACTION, WHEN THEY WERE BOXING OR RUNNING, AS I STARTED OFF MY ART FROM SPORTS." (I NYOMAN MASRIADI IN T.K. SABAPATHY, NYOMAN MASRIADI: RECONFIGURING THE BODY, GAJAH GALLERY, SINGAPORE, 2010, P. 115).
Masriadi personally acknowledges the significance of the world of sports to his painting career; it is not difficult to understand why. In sports, the notions of play and game are taken seriously, distilled to heightened, purified realms. In sports, especially team sports, one is reminded of the interconnectedness of play, ritual and drama. Competing players no longer hold on to their individual identities but become players in communal rituals, reaffirming common values of humanity such as competition, human endeavour and endurance." The runner Masriadi depicts in the present lot, The Last Chance (Lot 120) is tying his shoelaces, in a final act of preparation for arduous, self-challenging race ahead of him. He is a picture of human endeavour and ambition. And in this regard, the figure of the runner takes on a allegorical profoundness beyond its own apparent measure. The title alludes to a myriad of reading. If The Last Chance is a visual allegory of life, what can we make of it? Painted in 2001, when the artist was a mere 28 years old, it speaks of a certain urgency, and serious attitude to life and the vicissitudes of time. If it is indeed the last chance now, as etched in the mind of the artist and revealed in the title, now is the moment to seize the day and make something significant.
It is in the world of sports that Masriadi re-enacts and weaves allegories of everyday life. Like the other of his paintings offered in this season's sale, The Last Chance must have been occasioned by very specific episodes that had taken place in the artist's life. From the experiences of daily life, Masriadi then derived the ideas and pictorial narratives in his paintings, distilling the essence of the experience and translating it into a visual form that relives this essence but in a thoroughly different visual world. The artist percolates the everyday prosaic, conjuring universalisms from the particularities of his personal and family life.