‘More than a likeness’ with Kaprus Jaya. Explores portraiture through the artist’s intuitive expressionist process. Portraiture has remained a primary genre in art throughout history for very good reason. We as human beings seem to have fundamental point of relativity. Of being able to relate to to other things primarily through our own image and experiences. Without strong deliberation, it is uncommon for us to be able to envision or relate to things that are too foreign from our own reflections.
I have a great admiration for the tenacity and deliberation in Kaprus Jaya’s artistic process. For the past 20 years, by way of being true to an internal intuitive recognition, he has continued to create works that challenges this fundamental core of relativity. He is exploring things that are not easily relatable. Things unseen and unknown. Some call it feelings, some call it energy or atmosphere. Whatever you may call it, they are elements that are unfamiliar and not easily recognisable.
Intuitive painting Nature
When Kaprus goes out in Nature, his works are his efforts to visually translate a scene that is not visible. The invisible world within Nature that we can feel but cannot see. Perhaps that is only an extension of ones’ own inner world. In some paintings I believe this is happening. The energies of Kaprus Jaya’ own internal world certainly melds and fuses with that of his intuitive translation of the Natural environment he is in.
Yet other times, when the inner world of the artist is untethered, undisturbed and completely free, he is successful in rendering a portrait of Nature. In a certain moment in time. An admirable and formidable endeavour that would be difficult to appreciate by anyone on the outside looking in. The dedication and constancy towards sharpening his intuitive visual language is one that is remarkable.
In a portfolio that has spanned nearly 30 years Jaya does not seek to find an image of himself. Instead he is seeking to connect to something intangible nonetheless real. Greater than his own identity but one he cannot see. As with anything that is exercised regularly, it becomes proficient. Like another form of muscle memory. This adjustment to tuning in, is something that is intrinsically part of his expressive process.
Staying True to Self
Every artist has a process. A method. And through commitment and dedication in any skill will have its own rewards. I admire here the strength and conviction that has made it possible for Kaprus Jaya to have survived as an artist today. I don’t simply mean that he survived physically or economically. But also, that the purity of his art and his convictions in his process has remained consistent despite the overwhelming enticements of following a more commercially popular demand.
For those accustomed to seeing different works of art, especially in contemporary and abstract pieces, you may have an idea of the energy and movement that may result in works like Jaya’s. Energy.. is truly a key word here. Energy raw and polished are all key elements and as much a material as the colours that are brushed onto the canvas.
I elaborate on Kaprus Jaya’s art process because it gives the required background to where the artist is now. He has two distinct areas in his painting practice that is constantly practiced. Watercolours en plen air and his abstract expressionist work. In the latter, his instincts has been honed for many years and perhaps has gotten a little too comfortable. His creative process is one so independently private that there has been seldom a dialogue with mutual understanding is found. When it comes to this inner process of his art.
More than a likeness is not an ordinary portrait..
Kaprus Jaya in Sawidji is for the first time finding a new creative challenge amongst colleagues who are excited and inspired by his unique creativity. The collaborations within our small community has inspired this new series by Kaprus Jaya. In ‘More than a Likeness’ Kaprus Jaya is taking his very private internal process and for the first time connecting this part of his art to other people. Relating it to people who are present and very much part of the process in his painting.
In More than a Likeness with Kaprus Jaya, those who have a connection with his art have given him the trust and freedom to express visually his perception of them.
Not to be misconstrued as a portrait of a likeness. For that, the artist is more than able to do in his watercolour commissions.
This is portraiture of a different kind. It departs from what we expect of portraiture. It moves away from creating a likeness, but instead the artist is aiming to translate his instinctive visual responses to a person present in the room with him, the way he would visually translate his responses in the forest or the mountains in Nature alone.
This process is a turning point for Kaprus Jaya. Until now this aspect of his creative process has been isolated and private. This collection has so much more to celebrate than a few new pieces in a gallery space.
When he draws the lines in the image, there is energy, strong energy. You can really see in the strokes. I think the stroke, the energy he pours into the canvas captures the character of each subject in Kaprus Jaya’s portraits. Because in each human being we each have our own characteristics. I think he captures this.
When I look at this painting I think..maybe this is a painting of ManButur in the future.. quite seriously I mean that. So what is the future? we’ll see.ManButur Suantara
The meaning behind this series represents a true creative spirit. Where minds meet and grow together in true collaboration. In the same direction. Appreciating the nature of everyones’ creativity and uniqueness. Last but not least, enjoying the process and learning from each other. To challenge and make new discoveries, breaking down old boundaries.
Behind the scenes with Kaprus Jaya on this creative exploration featuring Eda Ocak..
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