In making art, energy are expanded and ideas presented along with techniques which applied. For Darbotz, the smell of the sense on the street, pollution, wind, traffic jams and the sound of cars passing by are everything–there are no space limit. The internationally well-known Indonesian street artist loves Jakarta very much, that even the chaos and hecticness of the city turns into something that inspires him. The same thing brings out his alter ego. That is the character that describes his way in facing the harsh life in the city. “Why grafitti? maybe because I love to draw since I was a kid, but mainly because the street culture itself, in which the freedom of expressing things that I love.”said Darbotz.
His visualization style is very distinctive and unique. Darbotz solely uses black and white and just a bit of accentuation. These colors he claimed to be the antidote of urban festive and chaotic colors. “I use the semiotic theory that is, when you see something over and over again you would remember it. That is the repetition of the pattern and color of my character.” said Darbotz. Just recently, Darbotz made an expansion to the world of fashion–quite intriguingly. Read along our Q&A session to find out about the taste of his flavor.
First of all, what does the name Darbotz mean? How did you come up with the alias?
It was all started back in school days, it was a nickname given by my friends since junior high school that got stuck and become my alias.
Could you share to us a little of your history? The first time you got introduced and plunged yourself into the world of street art, your big break that got you where you are now?
So it was all started in high school when I tag my school gang name, that was the first time I got into spray paint on walls. Then it get more serious during my time in college because I took graphic design. So I started to have my own characters, doing the same thing over and over again so people would notice my work without have to write my name on it. It’s a long process though and there’s no instant fame like nowadays, it was all hard work.
About you alter ego or the character in your work, The Cumi, why do you call it as it is, and is it actually a squid? how did it came into being and we notice that you only use black and white for this character, any reason why?
I like squid because of its complex form, it has a lot of tentacles. And for me squid is very unique like a little monster, and I also like monsters. So it is squid at the beginning, but then I try to do a reinterpretation of the form with my own style and it became more like a monster. And as of the color black and white that I always use for ‘The Cumi’ is because I want them to stand out from the rest.
As of now, you have worked alongside local and international fashion brands. How did you first get in touch with the fashion industry? And who are the people or the brands you have worked with? Any favorite collaboration?
It happen just like that, they come to approach me to do some collaboration. And I’m always open for that as long I like the brand and have corellation with my attitude. I have worked with a lot of brands, though my all time favorite collaboration is Nike.
What do you find interesting in working with fashion and is there anything to learn by working with fashion?
I think it’s a same concept, being a graffiti artist is about putting your work everywhere to be known. And somewhat it is the same in fashion, you put your work in fabric so people can see your work everywhere.
We have heard about your street wear label ‘KONG’, could you tell us more about it? Also, you have been working on collaboration with a lot of designers, have you ever thought about approaching them for a collaboration with KONG?
KONG is brand on its own and not as a merchandise of my work. For me it is a next level for my monster and I to work together with kimswell from CAPITAL. And KONG is still a new brand in the fashion industry so I would love to have a collaboration one day.
What is your opinion on how street art and street culture is presented by fashion? And what do you think about the fashion industry as an artist?
I think it is all connected, back in the 60’s when graffiti is started in New York, with all that hiphop style and stuff. Each have their own way but going the same way at the end. And honestly, I don’t really know about the fashion industry though I’m just happy doing my thing that is being an artist.
Lastly, where are the areas where we can find your works? And any latest updates you might want to share?
You can follow my instagram for latest updates @darbotz and wait for next year, because I will have an interesting shoes and apparel collaboration, globally.
Photos via thedarbotz.com