“A good artist copies, but a great artist steals” in discussion with Indonesian artist Iskandar Fauzy

Art News from Switzerland. Published by ArtAndOnly - Platform for Art Collectors on Wednesday 08 June 2016.

Islander Fauzy

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Well, my name is Iskandar Fauzy and I am an acrylic painter. I started painting 7 years ago after working as an interior designer. Through my practice I would say that I search for something I don’t have. There is a saying by Pablo Picasso which states “a good artist copies, but a great artist steals.”

I am inspired by masters like Picasso and Braque but not because of the visuality of their work. I am inspired by them because of their process and the way in which they manifest their creativity. In Picasso’s work it is obvious to see how, and when, his experiences affected his creative practice. As a viewer, and fellow artist, I am interested in the way we perceive his work and are able to understand the environment of his time. What I understand from his work is that he was selfish with a strong character. He stole motives, subject matters, and other things from his contemporaries, and yet has managed to become one of the most prominent artists in history.

Do you think people experience a similar reaction when confronted by your work?
What’s important to me in my work is not that people know what I may be thinking while making it. I am actually open to the idea of people truly understanding my paintings after my time. My paintings have deeper meanings but what I want my viewers to see first-hand is something simple and familiar. Good ideas are hard to find and they definitely don’t come along every day.

What is your process?
I would say that my background definitely affects the way in which my paintings come alive. First of all, I digitally design my paintings till they reach a point that I am satisfied with the composition and layout. They are then crossed over to canvases and painted. My works are roughly 1.5 × 2m and on average take about two weeks to complete. The duration is variant on the subject and my intention.
I love history and the development of my country, Indonesia. In the painting for instance of J.F. Kennedy taking a selfie with Marilyn Monroe, the subjects may be well-known icons of the world but the meaning lies deeper within my country. Our new president, Joko Widodo, loves selfies and that’s how rumours begin. The work acts as a direct reference to our president.

Would you say your work is political?
No I wouldn’t say so. I would say that my work focuses on..