Syaiful Rachman, b.1974
Trained at the Institute of Arts in Yogyakarta, Syaiful Rachman is one of the most talented artists to emerge from the contemporary Indonesian art scene. His incredible precision and ability to use mass culture to bring together human objects has not only won him numerous awards but also substantial critical acclaim.
Syaiful’s particular fascination with celebrities and prominent figures is derived from the conviction that they are the 'nodes' of various things - persona, popularity and even power, all of which are manifested in every human subject.
It is only upon a more conscientious scrutiny of Syaiful's paintings that one might truly catch a glimpse of his artistic inventiveness. It becomes clear that his portraits are composed of hundreds - even thousands - of minuscule, faceless human figures. A peremptory glance at any of Syaiful's paintings is enough to trick the viewer into thinking that these diminutive people are nothing more than an exceptionally pronounced attempt at pointillism. The scrupulous inclusion of this anonymous crowd is not merely a clever contrivance, as it also serves as an analogy to the roots of popular culture. Amidst our glorification and idolatry of the sought-after crowd, it is easy to forget that it is the power of our favor that holds them aloft. Through his precise brushstrokes that emphasize just the right amount of colors and shadows in the appropriate places, Syaiful leads us to the realization of the diverse distribution of power between and amongst people from all factions of society.
Syaiful Rachman currently lives and works in Indonesia.