Heri Dono, ‘Olympia Released the Bad Spirit’, 2011, Rossi & Rossi

The figure of Olympia is taken from the 1863 painting by Edouard Manet, now in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Her costume is a mixture of Balinese and European styles and here she is shown lying down on the vehicle-sofa. She has white wings like an Angel and the vehicle itself holds a small flag. In the other corner there is a small figure flying as a bad spirit that Olympia has just released to be free in his life.

About Heri Dono

Heri Dono’s figurative paintings give a complicated picture of Indonesian society and politics that is intertwined with larger international issues and concerns. Having grown up in a tumultuous period of Indonesian history, Dono often confronts violence and social turmoil in his work, as well as Western culture as it is viewed in his country. After leaving art school, the artist began studying shadow puppetry, incorporating puppets in his installations and drawings to probe darker elements of human experience. Dono, who has participated in multiple editions of the Venice Biennale, has said: “Art is not just about exploring the beauty or the aesthetic but to give awareness to the audience. Artists have a moral responsibility to add to the conversation, to make people aware of injustices.”

Indonesian, b. 1960, Jakarta, Indonesia, based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia