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Indonesian artist Roby Dwi Antono channels his inner child

2 min read  ·  20 Apr 2023

Installation of Roby Dwi Antono’s “Rumpus” at Nanzuka, Tokyo, 2022. Copyright the artist, courtesy Nanzuka gallery

Roby Dwi Antono, an Indonesian artist known for paintings of wide-eyed children and mythical creatures, is trending on HENI News.

Antono's HENI Score, which measures an artist's market performance and media coverage, increased by a spectacular 215% recently. The artist’s auction sales have totalled an impressive $8.86m over the past two years. To learn more about Roby Dwi Antono and gain a deeper insight into his market, see their HENI Dashboard.

Antono's work has gained significant attention from collectors and fans, especially in Asia. His portrait Apocalypse (2020) sold for $939,200, a spectacular 122 times its upper estimate on Sotheby’s Online. Kala (2019) sold for $194,400, more than twice the high estimate at Christie's, Hong Kong.

Born in 1990, Antono is largely self-taught as a painter and sculptor, having studied graphics. Based in the city of Yogyakarta, Java, the young artist’s work often features fantastical creatures and big-headed, wide-eyed children that appear strange but serene. The creatures he depicts are sometimes inspired by Indonesian folklore or Japanese sci-fi but they are also entirely imaginary.

Antono's international reputation is growing, with a solo show in 2023 at Almine Rech in Brussels, his second with the gallery. He had his first solo show outside of Indonesia in Manila in 2015.

In 2022, the artist unveiled a new, different body of paintings in his Tokyo show “Rumpus”. The works were still surreal but painted in a raw style, a departure from his previous more realist canvases. He told Juxtapoz the new departure was partly inspired by revisiting Maurice Sendak’s children’s picture book “Where the Wild Things Are”. He said: “I really condition myself like a child who likes to draw. It's a bit difficult at first because I'm used to drawing with realist techniques by considering light and shadow as well as proportional and clear shapes. I tried to ignore the painting skills and lessons I had learned.”