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Artists leave Instagram to sell art with heart

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Mon, December 18, 2017  /  08:14 am
Artists leave Instagram to sell art with heart

Meaningful: A collection of paintings by young artists is displayed on a wall at Affordable Art Fair in Kuningan City Mall, South Jakarta. The exhibition was part of the 8th Art Market Jakarta from Dec. 8 to 10. (Frederika Dapamanis/File)

For many people, especially the younger generation, collecting art of sounds like an extravagant thing to do. As the price of art pieces is rarely suited to the wallets of young people, collecting artwork is not a popular activity for them.

A recent art bazaar, “Art Market Jakarta,” tried to buck this trend by gathering a group of young visual artists for an exhibition, as part of a program called the Affordable Art Fair (Afrdbl).

The artists, who usually produce and market their artworks via the internet, agreed to participate in the event and sold their paintings for prices ranging from Rp 300,000 (US$21) to Rp 2 million.

Citra Marina, an artist participating in Afrdbl, said that before submitting her artworks to the fair she had never thought about selling her original works.

The artist, who also works as a freelance illustrator, had only uploaded her artworks to Instagram under the @real_choochoo handle. All her illustrations on Instagram are inspired by real life. She uses Choo Choo, a character whom she describes as a mix between a fox and a dog, as the main character in her illustrations.


A post shared by Choo Choo (@real_choochoo) on

“After my work was displayed for Afrdbl, many people messaged me and asked whether I could reprint my work,” she told The Jakarta Post.

Her works featured for Afrdbl were called “Paradogs,” a series of pencil-colored paintings that served as a homage to influential artists throughout history. Citra used Choo Choo to portray the influential artists in the paintings.

Citra said she wanted to participate in Afrdbl, because she felt the event was in tune with the local art movement.

“Nowadays, a lot of people are aware of the local art movement and want to start a collection, but their budgets are limited,” she said.

Afrdbl was held for the first time this year to provide young artists with a platform to introduce their works to the public offline.

Approximately 30 artists from five cities in Indonesia showcased their artworks for Afrdbl, which ran from Dec. 8 to 10 at Kuningan City Mall in South Jakarta.

Patricia Wulandari, a co-founder of Catalyst Arts, the Jakartabased visual artist community that initiated the annual Art Market Jakarta, said Afrdbl was created to build the interest of young people for collecting artwork.

“Usually, people associate art collections with wealth. However, through this event we wanted to encourage young people to start collecting artworks not for their monetary value but because they like the style,” she said.

Another artist featured at the event, Debbie Tea, who goes by the name Pantai Nanas on Instagram, agreed that Afrdbl was a good platform for encouraging people to become interested in collecting art. “These days, people spend a lot of time looking at artworks online on Instagram. I think it’s nice when you can actually come and see the artworks in real life,” she said.

Read also: PANTAINANAS: A genderless art label

Like Citra, Debbie also uses Instagram to promote and sell her artworks to the public. Following the event, Debbie said her number of Instagram followers had increased.

Debbie submitted a collection of 12 illustrations for the event under the title #love, all inspired by posts on Instagram under the love hashtag.

Soeliandra Tjokro, a promotions officer for Catalyst Arts Indonesia, said the event was meant to promote the idea that art did not have to be expensive. A unique slogan was also developed for Afrdbl: beli pakai hati (have a heart for buying art). “What we mean by this slogan is that buyers should buy artworks not just because they think they look nice, but also because they appreciate the meaning that lies within each artwork,” Soeliandra said. There is a slogan for artists as well: bikin pakai hati (create art with heart), meaning that artists should use their feelings to create art.

The first affordable art market was held in London, England in 1999. The fair featured contemporary artworks from various artists with a price ceiling of $10,000. (dpk)