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Graciously bizarre: dark surrealist illustrations by Roby Dwi Antono

Born in the city of Ambarawa and currently residing in Yogyakarta, both in Indonesia, Roby Dwi Antono is an illustrator and graphic designer, creator of surreal illustrations with a very unusual style.

Antono fuses terrifying, dark, and melancholy elements with creatures full of grace in solar environments. Everything in such a balanced way that you’ll really get confused to distinguish if they provoke more amazement or a desire to say ‘oh, that’s so cuuuute!’. We can easily notice a lot of references taken from European classical painting styles and figures as contemporary as a flying saucer. Many of these pictures can symbolize attributes completely opposite to what our intuition would suggest. Like a crocodile that represents love and harmony, and a little girl with three heads that represents the cycle of life.

He says his inspiration came from watching a Disney documentary about the North Pole, where light and darkness last for months in the extremes of summer and winter, respectively. He then decided to explore this very striking contrast.

I would often say that my works contain a set of idioms which have very personal meanings to me. However, at the same time, I also challenge myself to be able to create works that can make people’s emotions arise. I leave some visual cues in my works which act as a melancholic conundrum, for my audiences to set their eyes and mind upon. I love it when people try to guess the message behind my works and in the end each person will have their own interpretation, which is good because it opens the way for another enriching dialogue between us. The human experience affects both the idea and visual aspect of my works.

Roby Dwi Antono

More info: WebsiteBehanceInstagram (h/t: Hypebeast).

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Curated by Leandro Lima

CEO-founder of Visualflood. A Brazilian fine art photographer, among other things, who loves visual arts, nature, science, and innovative technologies. You can follow me on Facebook and Instagram.