Indonesian artist I Nyoman Masriadi was born in Bali in 1973.  He pursued his art training in Yogyakarta – a city renowned for being a cultural and academic center in Indonesia.  Instead of delving into Balinese traditions and culture as a source of inspiration like the typical Balinese artist, Masriadi carved a niche for himself by creating a style that is completely his own.  He converses in a visual language that is concise, witty, humorous and effective.  His paintings’ clean, simple forms and compositions belie their sophistication and intricacies.  Behind the comic relief is a subtext of provocative and contemporaneously relevant social commentaries, born from his keen and intelligent observation of society and life.  It is this unique perspective, delivered with a style and conviction that conform only to Masriadi’s own rules, that distinguishes him from his contemporaries.  With these qualities, Masriadi brings a formidable and inimitable contribution to the landscape of Asian Contemporary Art.
Masriadi marked the late 1990s as his official entry into the art world.  It was then that he found his identity after years of academic exercise dissecting cubism.  He crated stylized, black or brown figures with defined, bulging muscles and flattened, rotund forms.  As he continues to explore this theme in the past decade, his characters never veer away from their essence.  At present they are as black, strong and masculine as they ever were.  However, they have also morphed into sleeker figures that are larger than life, dominating entire canvases in compositions that are striking in their simplicity and thus casting its sardonic message in more pronounced light.  Combined, they form a powerful iconic style that makes Masriadi’s paintings unique and instantly recognizable.
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