Syaiful A Rachman

Abbey Road, 2018
Acrylic on Canvas, 128 x 148 cm


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About the artist

There are many who regard mainstream culture and the mass media with disdain, believing that the adoption of preferred attitudes and ideas is a symptom of a shallow, frivolous milieu. Yet there are others who are not so quick to pass judgement on the widespread disposition towards popular culture, instead taking it as a window through which we may gain insight into the very core of humanity's strengths and weaknesses. Syaiful A. Rachman is one such person. His paintings reveal his interest in the development of what some might flippantly term "mass culture," as this "mass culture" we often carelessly refer to is in fact more profound and complex than we might think. Prominent figures such as Elvis Presley, Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe recur in Syaiful's paintings. His particular fascination with these celebrities is derived from the conviction that they are the 'nodes' of various aspects - persona, popularity and even power, [all of] which are manifested in every human subject." These easily recognisable household names perhaps signify such traits in a more accentuated manner than the ordinary individual, hence explaining Syaiful's choice in making them the subject matter of his work. However, lest one be led to believe otherwise, Syaiful's focus is not only famous figures. Much of his art showcases his appreciation for the passion and ebullience of everyday characters as well.

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