Artphoria 2014 aka pavement art in Jakarta

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Yours truly on one of the paintings

I would have to say that Jakarta isn’t really known for its arts scene in that its cultural landscape is mostly dominated by glossy, multi-storey shopping malls; endless education and travel Expos; restaurant promotions that are generally buffet stuff-yourself type affairs; clubs and bars that are only really for the young; no traffic allowed here so let’s cycle Sundays and the occasional big name concert that needs a full-scale expedition to get there due to the total lack of public transport (Java Jazz is a fantastic annual event but it really is an ordeal getting to the venue).

So it was with real eagerness that I visited the Ciputra Artpreneur Centre in Kuningan, to take a look at some art by Kurt Wenner; an American artist who is the acknowledged master of 3D pavement art.  According to his website, this tradition of drawing on the pavement started way back in 16th century Italy when vagabond artists, called ‘madonnari’, drew religious pictures on the beaten earth or paved public squares for money but there is no way that Wenner can be called a vagabond! Although I was a little disappointed that they weren’t the actual chalk drawings, just being able to see them up close was amazing.

There were quite a few visitors at the exhibition, all of whom enjoyed the chance to have their picture taken on one of the paintings but it was the astounding detail of Wenner’s pictures that did it for me. The paintings were so lifelike and varied and not only depicted people, amazing vistas but animals and well-known story characters too; in short this guy is astonishing. Below you can see some of my photos (apologies for the quality, I definitely need an new camera). These include full-shots of some of my favourites and some details that caught my eye. If you ever get the chance to see his work in a gallery near you, take it, Kurt Wenner is a formidable Madonnari.

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Categories: Just Plain Blog

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3 replies

  1. I’m not familiar with the artist, but I’m really impressed. I am so glad you had the chance to get so very close. 🙂 What intricate and complex design!

  2. Beautiful and clever. I’ll keep an eye out of exhibitions here. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I think these artists are amazing, Kurt Wenner is certainly one of the best

I would love to hear your views...

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