Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Family Background (After Marriage)

I am one of the few female artists who makes a living fully from painting in Indonesia. I am married to an artist who lives far away in another island and very seldom comes home. 
In 1996, in a rare moment, I painted a portrait of my husband, from whom I had been estranged for years. 
To me, I imagined him as a young man standing in a mountain range, holding a bouquet of white roses. He has stopped, mid-step, uncertain whether to proceed or turn back, an expression of anxious reflection on his face. His army pants indicate battle or struggle, the flowers indicate beauty, longing, ideals. With this, I painted a wishful portrait of my husband, where I visualize him with the power to fulfill his dreams. The title is open-ended, to include the possible reference to my hopes for a possible reconciliation. These paintings represent a clear concern with the pain and struggle of another human being. Not only do they signal an important step beyond my involvement with my own personal challenges but a step towards bridging the gender-gap ('bridging' in the sense of connecting, not erasing) in my works which, till 1993, had maintained a near-total absence of men in my painted worlds.

"Lelaki di bulan Mei/Young Man of May" (1998)
by Lucia Hartini
(oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm)

I am essentially a single mother and I feed my children and do domestic jobs by myself besides painting. This is why I have developed the habit of working at night after my children have gone to bed. Even though it is tiring, for my children, I am willing to sacrifice anything- part of being a true mother. 

I know my life may not seem easy, but I believe in what I am doing and for my children and for my art, I will keep going.

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