Indonesian artist Farid Stevy aims to empower people through his work. He has two pieces at Rumah Sanur – the pillar & the stairs. Here he talks his inspirations, work & themes.
What inspires you as an artist?
Well basically I’m inspired by everything near me, everything that happens around me, not so far but at least I can feel it, I feel happy about it, I feel angry about it, I feel sad about it that what’s most commonly inspired so everything came up in my art is always around me.
Who were some of your early influences?
I’m thinking now, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat & street artists, fellow artists, & visual artists from Jogja a few of them but I can say my biggest influence maybe Andy Warhol.
Why Andy Warhol?
I think he’s such a genius, not because of the result of his works or how they look but how he thinks. How he processes information & works, you know the art we don’t forget about his work or the contents. Andy Warhol masters all of that.
Why did you become an artist?
I’ve got a lot of things to talk about but I have also few different kind of tools to say what I want to.
I sing & am a songwriter in my band. In band, I can make/meet a lot of people there.
In visual art that’s the way I say everything I want.
Also I am a graphic designer literally I am doing that to pay the bills.
So what types of things do you want to say?
I want to say things about self confidence, basically about my history & people in my art. I was underestimated by many people in my early years in art so I just want to fight back with my art & give other people confidence.
What types of topics & subject areas do you explore?
Recently, I have been quite interested with the term Indonesia, being Indonesia & being the people of the world. That’s a topic that firmly comes out in my artwork.
Why now is that something that you are interested in?
I’m growing up. I am meeting a lot of people outside & I’m just playing with the close empowerment, I’m getting my friends more popular to see. So I think that makes me aware that I am a part of the big community, this Indonesia & the world.
For your artistic work, what are some of the mediums that you use?
For most of my art I use paint & brush, & marker right now. Canvas, board, wall, anything. My work changes over time.
How has it change since it first started?
It changes depending on what happens round me, so I & my art changes depending on that.
Not because I want to change but people change the way I feel, the air changes the way I feel, the taste of the food changes, the way I live changes so it means & had a lot of impact in my work as well.
Now just moving on to the work you’ve done at Rumah Sanur, so starting with the first one on the inside, so that was the first time you painted using aerosol, wasn’t it?
Yeah sure, well since 5 years, since the last time I use aerosol I used that.
How did you find it?
I just find that the space, the wall is really big, massive & I guess it’s hard to paint it. The first time I do the works, I have talk with the buildings so what do you want me to do with you, I just have real just make it quick, so I use aerosol, just make sure quick that I don’t spend plenty time. So just get aerosol do whatever I want there.
What is the story of background to the pillar piece & where did you find influence for it?
The last thing I remember about Bali is how the youth in Bali is struggling with the case of disempowerment. I find my friends involved in the movement to help so I hope maybe my work can give them more fire or fire to do the struggle.
Why did you choose to create something like that that empowers youth at Rumah Sanur?
Ah I think that’s also a big theme in my work, like I said before I’ve been underestimated by people. So I want to make art that empowering youth, I want to make sure less youth are underestimated by other people. Maybe what happen with that is when I came to Sanur, when I came to Bali, when I came to Rumah Sanur I thought maybe I can take a big part in that movement by creating a big piece that empowers.
And moving onto the piece you just created in today what’s the background to this piece & why did you choose these text words?
Well I fell in love with the text, this from Mochtar Lubis one of writer in Indonesia, she/he made this speech 1970s Jakarta. In that speech he talked about becoming a citizen of Indonesia. What I found & why I am interested in that text is I find it still relevant now.
I just waited until I have the right place, the right ideal, the right ethics to create something with this text. So when Rumah Sanur asked me to do another piece, I thought this is the best place for it because I think Rumah Sanur has the same spirit.
What is that spirit that you think exists in that text?
Rumah Sanur is friends, is a good family, Rumah Sanur wants to make sure that everybody in Sanur, in Bali & I am sure in Indonesia & I am quite sure they think about all of the people in the world also have this courage, have this reference & revelry to fight the system, to beat themselves, to move forward, to embrace possibilities, to achieve dreams, everything that is good.
So I just want to share the spirit from & with a common place, the text, my spirit & Rumah Sanur’s spirit that I believe have the same fire & encourages everyone.
I will still do the same, full throttle.