Young but far from foolish, a cast of girls stand their ground while animal specters invade their immediate surroundings. The image of an unperturbed pre-teen girl holding an oversized insect in her hands mirrors the unassuming expression of another figure, as her form dwarfs a tiny tree-man, hacking at her leg with a miniature axe.
The artistic mind behind these paintings, Roby dwi Antono, revels in endearing yet ghoulish depictions of children woven together with storybook characters. Antono, an Indonesian illustrator with interests in graphic design, uses acrylic and oil paints on canvas and wood. When beginning the preliminary process of his artwork, the 27-year-old realizes his vision on a computer before picking up a brush. “In the beginning, I have to make the digital paintings, including the coloring,” Antono tells Creators, “It’s enough help to me to mix colors, and of course, imagine what I want to put on a canvas.”
The artist showcases a distinct ability to combine impeccable realism with disconcerting themes. His subjects—the natural world and children—are brought together under odd conditions and proportions. Oversized humans are juxtaposed with lapdog-like Grizzly Bears. Plants sprout every which way from the tops of heads and unexpectedly nestle between arms. Unsurprisingly, Antono explains his technique is based most on inspired improvisation: “For concepts, usually I take from my daily activity, or feeling, or perhaps from a friend or family member’s story. Even if there is a little girl figure, it doesn’t mean I have a little sister. I just paint what I need to paint—somehow, I imagine weird characters.”