Rudi Mantofani is a leading artist in the contemporary Indonesian art scene today. In his art practice, Mantofani ponders deeply over the philosophy of everyday life - advocating virtues such as patience, moderation and the circumscription of excesses. He looks far and searches deep, trawling for visual metaphors and devising original pictorial schemas to present distilled lessons in life's conduct and thoughts. In the process, he creates fauxsurrealistic scenes that have deep philosophical meaning behind them. Christie's is proud to present three works of Rudi Mantofani this season that illustrate the breadth of his artistic vision.
Sudut Bumi #3 (The Corner of the Earth #3) (Lot 1536) is a superlative example of his visual parables, and serves as a thought-provoking meditation on human experience and behaviour. Normal perspective is subverted in the composition and a multi-coloured cube appears, half hidden and half-obvious amidst two distinct elements of nature, deep greenery and the expansive sky. The surrealistic composition enlivens the mundane and the everyday, and disrupts expectations, rituals and behaviours. Sudut Bumi #3 emphasises the richness of being able to break out of the everyday and its sometimes arresting culture of sticking to the known and the familiar. In Sebatas Abu-Abu (The Limit of Grey) (Lot 1544), a grey block suspense one's vision from being able to wholly enjoy a scene of plenitude and apparent abundance. Grey is a metaphor for all that is hazy, unseen and unclear, as opposed to the clarity by which we observe the world in the bottom half of the painting. Sebatas Abu-Abu emerges from the concept of limits central to the artist's philosophy of the everyday. If the world in the bottom half of the painting visualises humanity with all its unbound potential for perfection, the grey block that weights so conspicuously at the top half is Mantofani's visual reminder that such ideals and endeavours have to be matched by a capacity for self-control, restrain and limit lest they take over our capacity to act reasonable and morally.
Bayangan Gunung (Shadow of a Mountain) (Lot 1545) comprises of a painted mountain in the centre of a spare, richly velvety blue canvas. Being able to capture the shadow of a mountain is to capture a rare fleeting moment in the cycle of a day, and an acknowledgement of patience and fortitude. The stark simplicity of Mantofani's composition belies the deeper moral and philosophical meaning behind the work.