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Jakarta Post

Street artists of Kota Tua

  • Arief Suhardiman


Jakarta   /   Fri, June 26 2020   /  01:00 am
Open studio: Street artists use the sidewalk of Jl. Pintu Besar Selatan, West Jakarta, as their working gallery. Behind them are empty buildings that were abandoned by the owners in the wake of the deadly 1998 riots.(JP/Arief Suhardiman)

In one corner of Kota Tua in West Jakarta, several street artists make a living by applying paint to canvas with their skilled hands. They have taken their posts in front of deserted and decrepit buildings, the remnants of the deadly 1998 riots, to wait for customers. Their reproductions of renowned world masterpieces adorn the nearby sidewalk pillars along Jl. Pintu Besar Selatan in an impromptu gallery: Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait, Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring and Munch’s The Scream. Face time: Yono paints the face of a child. He has been making a living on drawing in Kota Tua since 2002. (JP/Arief Suhardiman) "I have been here for 18 years. That was back in 2002," say street artist Yono, originally from Pasuruan, East Java, his brush still working on a child's face. The street artists typically receive orders for portraits, landscap...