Noviadi Angkasapura and My Love for Outsider Art
Untitled, 2016 Ball point pen, graphite on paper 11.81 x 15.75 inches As I child I was obsessed with drawing. I loved creating endless patterns, imaginary figures, random numbers, capricious lines, ornate repetitions, and more. My notebooks were filled to the brim with dense compositions where the real and imaginary …
As I child I was obsessed with drawing. I loved creating endless patterns, imaginary figures, random numbers, capricious lines, ornate repetitions, and more. My notebooks were filled to the brim with dense compositions where the real and imaginary danced with each other.
Years later when I was in third grade, I began writing letters to my cousin Veronica who live in the border town of Nogales, Sonora—which is 600 kilometers from Huatabampo, my hometown. For this, I invented a visual alphabet where each letter was replaced by a pictogram. Our purpose was to conceal the content from the adults—as if there were full of top secrets. I admit that my favorite part was looking at the finished letters. To my young eyes, the pages looked beautiful covered with our secret pictograms resembling ancient Egyptian walls. I spent a long time just looking at the finished letters, both sent and received. Little did I know that my drawings and letters looked like Outside Art. My love for outsider art has been within me since those early years.
Since they are not academically art trained, outsider artists’ themes, styles, materials, and techniques are quite extensive. Their work is also called folk art, traditional art, primitive art, and tramp art.
I recently discover the beautiful work of Noviadi Angkasapura, a young outsider artist from Jayapura, Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Angkasapura grew up in an environment that believes that plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena have soul. Legend has it that when he was 24 years old he was visited by a supernatural being who told him to make art to keep balance and sound moral judgment in his life. Ever since he’s signed every piece created with the phrase KI RADEN SASTRO INGI, which was said to him by the supernatural spirit.
Angkasapura uses found paper, pen, pencils, and crayons to create his brilliant, compositions. Whatever he chooses his canvas to be, he turns them into an extraordinary stage that comes alive with his out-of-this-world characters. They remind me of the kind of work I did as a young child.
Luckily, the artist is represented by several galleries including, Calvin-Morris Gallery in New York and Henry Boxer Gallery in England. If you enjoy this kind of art as much as I do, it’s worth a visit.
All images ©Noviadi Angkasapura