Inspiration II: Dede Eri Supria and Jeff Gilette


We learned him for sova at the start of the year, and I liked how his paintings were social commentaries of the rapidly changing world, a subject matter that not many artists adopted and how he conveyed his concerns regarding the social and culture change around himself through sheer images.

It reminded me and made me think of how some events have impacted and shaped our lives, for example, technological advancements, the media, the internet, consumerism, globalisation etc, even though we don’t really seem to realise.

Dede has a photo-realistic style of painting, which can be practically passed off as a photo, a technique which I hope to learn from and adapt in my advertisement designs. The colours, lighting and shadows placed in his paintings are very logically maneuvered and the well, carefully rendered brushstrokes are almost not visible. Dede’s paintings usually consist of subject matter being placed in odd situations. It is certain that these images and situations can never be found in real life, yet these super-realistic images are rendered so carefully that we can’t tell whether it is painted or not, and this haunts us and plays with our eyes and mind. To further enhance these effects, Dede also made use of popular icons of the urban society.

Many of his paintings like the Labyrinth also make use of the illusion of vast space and lack of clear boundaries, created by the many horizontal and vertical lines that converge towards the background, to suggest a never-ending field. The composition of this painting also plays around with the viewers’ senses, such that it seems like the entire composition is being enlarged within the canvas. I think he has a really interesting composition, and I hope to adopt this as my inspiration for my poster designs, one of them which I hope to portray infinity and never-endedness.

Dede considers his paintings self-portraits and constantly points to his increasing sense of alienation as an artist in a country striving for industrialisation. He has particularly focused on the city which has forsaken the natural environment. His paintings are mostly the fruit of his intense feelings about the urban scene and the rapid globalisation and his personal experience from living near the roar and clang of construction. I hope too to be able to incorporate my personal experiences and inner emotions into the painting, and let them be a part of my research and concept-building process.


In his paintings, he uses imagery like Snow White, Cinderella, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck. and other Disney characters scattered in what looks to be the slums of some third world country or perhaps some post-apocalyptic alternate universe. Striking contrasts and juxtapositions is commonplace in most of his paintings.

I really admire both artists’ styles of painting, the way everything is portrayed so realistically, yet consisting of impossible dramatic images that would never be seen in reality, in a single composition.

I like the photorealistic painting style which both artists have adopted, whereby the difference between paintings and photos are barely discernible, further adds on to the effect of an oddly placed subject matter and situation on the viewer.

I think this would be good painting style for advertising poster designs, where products are shown to embody qualities that will never happen in reality, but with the super-realistic painting style, it will be looking as if like a photo to attract consumers and make them think it is real, which will motivate them to purchase the product.


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