Bits & Pieces
Visual artist and illustrator Resatio Adi Putra chose to focus on the medium of collage in his artistic endeavors. He described his works as “[…] structured chaos”, and with the arrangement of the elements they bear a fantastic, mysterious quality.
Perhaps because of their uniqueness, his art, also employing photography in manual and digital processes, has won him followers among art lovers and also favor among commercial enterprises seeking his talents.
Born and raised in Bandung, the 29-year-old began his career as a graphic designer for a local clothing line in his hometown, before moving to Jakarta to work at a lifestyle magazine and graphic design house. It was then that he started to make collage artworks and participate in exhibitions.
Although he does not come from an artistic family and is self-taught in art (his degree is in law), his interest in artistic images began as a child.
“When I was a kid, I didn’t possess many children’s books like other kids. Although I really enjoyed reading them and looking at the pictures, I couldn’t have them at the time. So as I grew older and started to make money, I collected some of the books that I like,” he said in an email interview from Bandung, where he returned to live and work in 2013.
He considers collage “a way of resurrection; I give life to some forgotten and ‘dead’ materials to be an artwork. My inspiration comes from everywhere, like music, words on the streets, lyrics, having a discussion with folks, nature. I cut up old encyclopedias, textbooks and magazines, and then put them back together”.
Resatio said he also gained inspiration and motivation to improve from other artists, with the widespread availability of information in the internet age.
“Many artists make great artworks; that pushes me to make better artworks all the time. But there is one piece of advice I give to myself, and that is to stop googling about the ‘best artist in the world’ or so on, because your brain and your heart are different from other artists,” he said.
“So stop [trying to be] an internet fad — we are all unique compared to each other. Look up at the inspirations that are all around you, don’t look at your iPhone all the time.”
In fact, it’s the openness of the digital age that has brought him attention, especially for commissioned projects for such brands as Swatch and Giordano.
“It’s funny because most of my collaborators and/ or commissions come through a digital platform. They tell me they saw my works on Instagram and my website, and they liked them — then they decided to ask me to work with them,” said Resatio, who discussed on of his current projects that includes the “updating” of the artwork decorating a bar in Jakarta.
“I made some wheat paste murals and some small artworks … We brainstormed, they told me what they had in mind and I told them what would suit the project well and so on. Once the big idea and the paperwork were approved, then we started working on the project.”
The commercial collaborations, he said, “[… are] an important thing [for me] and really eye opening. I can see something from a wider perspective, because I can see art from a different viewpoint”.
Although he said he could not predict the direction of his art in the future, his abiding rule was to make “honest artworks”.
“I let my artworks speak for themselves. I like it when the audience has their own interpretation of my art.”
Does he have “epiphany” moments in his career, when he realizes he is on the right track in his art?
“It is when someone says to me that their artworks inspire him or her. That is one of the things that money can’t buy,” he said. When all is said and done, it comes down to the artist’s attitude in being successful, he said.
“Great artwork is nothing without a great attitude,” he said.
PARTS OF THE WHOLE: Several works by Resatio, including one inspired by Magritte’s The Son of a Man (second from left), Massive Stars Collapse III (third from left) and Hudoq, a commission for Giordano inspired by a Dayak cultural festival (right).