Artist Portrait: Farid Stevy Asta

“That afternoon, I caught a glimpse of some of Farid’s work and knew something special was about to happen that night in the gallery after dark.”

I met Farid behind a batik shack. He had just arrived from Jogja for a solo exhibition of paintings and installations, topped off with a Sunday evening gig with his band, Jenny.

In front of us four wet sheets dripping with dyes sway in the wind. Farid watched the sheets, a range of blues and turquoises with stripes where there had once been wax. He was wearing a double-breasted leather motorcycle jacket, torn jean shorts, Converse. With his arms crossed within the thick sleeves of the black leather, he was in no rush to be anywhere else besides admiring the batik designs drying in the wind.

Ten days prior, Deus asked him if he would like to do an exhibition in their gallery. Farid got the days wrong and volunteered to do an opening with nothing ready. Not one to panic, he decided to work ten days straight, sacrificing sleep, adapted to the tight schedule by planning on finishing some work the night before the show as he painted installations on the gallery walls.

I decided to stay up with him and shoot timelapses as he painted. We listened to music, we talked, he prayed, a drunken Australian showed up to steal beer from the Deus bar, The Smoking Skull brought some late night emergency brushes, the sun came up and we were finished. I edited it right away, put it online and went off to do some motorcycle drag racing and make another video.

Farid got some sleep and by that night, the show was up, the people poured in and it all came together.

Here’s a little of that magic from the night before the show.

Farid Stevy Asta from Nikko Karki on Vimeo.

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