A Glimpse into Darbotz's Solo Exhibition at Srisasanti Gallery

Srisasanti Gallery is pleased to present Monstrous Mastery, Darbotz’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Darbotz is one of the most well-known—though anonymous—street artists in Indonesia. Spending most of his life living in Jakarta, the capital and metropolitan city of Indonesia has made him aware of all of its hustle and bustle. For him, the traffic jams, the chaos, and the hecticness of Jakarta must be faced every day. Through his works, he learned to accept his reality of living in an urban society like Jakarta and further explore the beauty behind the madness. He created an alter ego to face the harsh city called “cumi” (squid), a monster character that can adapt and continually evolve to its environment.

In this solo exhibition, Darbotz uses monsters as an analogy that symbolizes the consequences and compensations derived from his struggles for survival in a megapolitan city such as Jakarta. The exhibition will showcase new works by Darbotz consisting of 29 paintings on canvas, 24 drawings on paper, 10 drawings as a collaboration with Yogyakarta graffiti artists, two sculptures, and murals that will adorn the gallery space.

The dynamic and ever-changing capital city of Jakarta fosters a life marked by harshness and uncertainty. The heightened tension, vehicular congestion, anger, and unwavering persistence reflect the tumultuous essence of life in Jakarta's heart. The exhibited works draw inspiration from the contradictions presented by the juxtaposition of urban progress and human alienation. Darbotz intricately weaves this theme into his solo exhibition in Yogyakarta; a city shrouded in the myth of its artistic and graffiti greatness; a city that is not tendentious and embraces the values of community and hospitality; a city that, over a dozen years ago, etched Darbotz's memories through art performances, complete with its graffiti scene.


The overlapping elements of “Monstrous” and “Mastery” synergize, leading to a profound reflection on humanity's resilience. Choosing graffiti as his visual language, Darbotz recognizes the cityscape as a potential canvas, a concept he has explored since 2004 as the monster figure evolves. Graffiti, as a medium of street expression, possesses a magical power that can evoke an adrenaline rush and immerse individuals in city life. Additionally, it holds a communicative power that sparks a hidden dialogue. In this Monstrous Mastery exhibition, Darbotz adeptly encapsulates his works, exploratively revealing the dark side and ambiguity of human survival amidst the harshness of urban life. Monstrous Mastery is open to the public from 2 March – 5 May 2024. The exhibition opening hours are Tuesday – Friday, 12 – 7 PM, and Saturday & Sunday, 12 – 8 PM. The opening was held on Friday, 1 March 2024 at 5 PM. The Srisasanti Gallery itself is located in Tirtodipuran Link Building A, Yogyakarta.

Srisasanti Gallery is an art gallery founded in 1994 by E. St. Eddy Prakoso with the main goal of initiating global appreciation for Indonesian artists. Srisasanti Gallery represents and supports its artists with a long-term perspective, dedicating its effort to developing their careers and providing a significant audience for their works, both regionally and globally. The gallery has been exhibiting established artists who have important roles in Indonesian art history, while also nurturing emerging artists to contribute to the growth of the Indonesian art scene. Apart from presenting intensive and dynamic in-house programs each year, Srisasanti Gallery also actively presents its artists at art fairs and other international programs.

About the Author

Alessandra Langit

Alessandra Langit is a writer with seven years of diverse media experience. She loves exploring the quirks of girlhood through her visual art and reposting Kafka’s diary entries at night.