Young Indonesian artist Ryan Ady Putra‘s work has been showing up everywhere. Putra grew up in a small town and only after later moving to Magelang and Jogjakarta did he learn about skate and punk culture, both of which heavily influence his satirical art.
How was your work initially noticed?
For the last few years I’ve been making as much artwork as I can, exploring different techniques and themes that fit into my interests. My first solo show was at Deus Ex Machina in Bali. It was really surprising, because suddenly these people knew my work and were asking me have an exhibition in their gallery. I had only two months to prepare everything. I named the exhibit Permanent Vacation. I got a lot of support from the people who came out to see my show. It was really amazing. In the last few years I’ve done a lot of work with clothing lines, either commission work or collaborations. I don’t know how they initially found me exactly; it happened so fast.
How did it feel to be reviewed by Juxtapose magazine?
I’m so stoked about that thing. I had never imagined that a magazine as a cool as them would know about me. I’m just this new artist living in Indonesia. Not many people in Indonesia get this kind of opportunity and I’m quite proud of it. After the first review, they wrote another quick one of my solo show at Deus Ex Machina in January.
What is the skate scene like where you’re from? How has it influenced you?
I come from Magelang, a small town where there aren’t too many variants or much of a youth scene. At one point I decided to start skating and I think this is a cool thing. From there, I’ve learned about the many lifestyles of young people and also how to interact with new people. Skateboarding has also taught me to always try harder, an attitude which I apply when making artworks. It’s not easy to give up and I’m always trying or make something new in my work. Indirectly, I became familiar with art from that scene; I saw a lot of graphic skateboard decks and graphic tees, and I was felt like I was finding some hidden cool thing.
What is the punk scene like?
I’m not as punk as you think. I grew up in an era where I love punk and other music. But punk was something that taught me to DIY, and to survive and socialize with the environment. I learned how to silkscreen print. I made some clothes and patches with my artworks and sold them to my friends. The feedback was very surprising, because they like what I’ve made and they asked for my other artworks to print on the tees. I feel satisfied because I can make enough money from the sale proceeds.
How was showing in Australia?
The show was great. I met a lot of people that I never knew before. It’s cool, a lot of visitors coming on Monday and they look very happy with my work. I really loved Melbourne, the people are very nice too.
Which are your three favorite pieces and why?
Basically I never differentiate my work. Because I think every piece that I make has a story and they each represent different things. But maybe the most interesting work is the batik that I’ve made for my solo show in Bali, because it’s my first work with new media.
You’re getting involved in work with clothing companies like Volcom and Adelio … what will that entail?
Yes, this is a part of my job; some clients position me as an artist, but there are also some clients positioning me as an illustrator. I have to be very flexible with it. I always feel challenged by their bids, both big brands and small brands. I work with so many now. I am currently supported by Electric Europe. I worked with Adelio, Volcom, and I also work for Quiet Life and Toy Machine (Leo Romero series) all of these will be released in the next few months.
What are some ideal projects for the future?
I will never know what to say when someone asks me about this. But definitely, I will keep working and doing exhibitions anywhere that I can.
Any individuals that have guided you especially?
I’ve never had a special person to guide me. I learned all of this from so many people: from friends and some of the senior artists here. They taught me many things.