Born in Surbaya, Indonesia, in 1971, Teguh began showing great talent as an artist from an early age. He began his art education as apprentice to the palace painter of the Indonesia President.
Here he would learn the foundations of realism, impressionism, and surrealism at the feet of a master painter. All through his school years Teguh would win art competition after art competition, causing a stir every time he displayed his work.
Naturally, in college he pursued a formal art education and would graduate with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Surabaya Institute of Fine Arts. After graduation Teguh moved into the world of advertising where he established an advertising agency. Working as the head art director, it allowed him to continue to perfect his skills.
In January 2000, Teguh retired from advertising to pursue his calling as a full-time artist.
Over the last fourteen years Teguh has exhibited internationally and is collected by corporations and art lovers in Bali, Jakatra, Germany, Dubai, and Australia. As his art star continues to rise Teguh is gaining interest from galleries worldwide. His deep connection to his spiritual roots and humble life as a practicing Sufi creates an almost devotional following by his fans, where each new piece is eagerly anticipated, as one piece after another is snapped up almost before the paint is dry.
Interest in his work has grown rapidly and in 2015, Teguh partnered with an artist representative to assist in bringing his work to the United States. A few select pieces have been chosen and brought into the country. These pieces are currently being offered to a handful of art aficionados and collectors as a way of introducing Teguh to the American art world.
Here Teguh talks to Bella about his journey:
What’s your creative background?
I was born in Surabaya, Indonesia. I loved to do art since my childhood. In the beginning I won championships in several painting competitions in elementary school, junior high school, and senior high school level of Surabaya. I have studied the art of painting and all kinds of art from senior artists all over Indonesia. I having studied art at Surabaya Institute of fine arts, but honestly it was not so fun for me, after finish my school art, my soul strongly pushed me to go out, even if I got no money for doing it, I didn’t care and I just went to follow my dreams.
How do you get inspired for your pieces?
I just follow my instinct. Thank God! He was guiding me to meet with many senior artists in every city I visited. They taught me about art and “soul of art” (art of life). The best part is having studied and doing art together with all senior artists on the spot, at traditional markets, on the streets, in the forest, in nature, anywhere! Even in conflict areas! Studying art on the spot gives me real feelings; happiness, fear, anger, sadness. My hand was shaking, my eyes crying, my heart beating hard, loving, laughing and then me and my art object merges. Than after a period of more than 7 years of homeless, nomad journey, in January 2000 I decided to stay in Bali, and turn to professional artist.
I get my inspiration from anywhere, any form, any thing could be my inspiration. I get connected to anything I show, I shed tears sometimes just to see a rat crushed by cars on the street. But this feeling I keep it just for me, nobody knows about it.
The focal point of a lot of your pieces is the eyes – why?
The eyes – for me is the windows of the soul, the expression without words.
How does your Indonesian heritage influence your work?
Indonesian culture has so many sides to it, and art is an important part of our culture. Most Indonesian culture uses art to express their philosophy of life. Most of our symbols have a meaning, carving, embroidery, colors, forms, etc. This heritage gives me colors to my art sometimes, especially the philosophy.
See Teguh’s work at La Bottega Dell’Acquaforte in Laguna Beach, CA