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The Writing’s on the Wall

The 3-Dimensions of


Since the arrival of the first wave of young surfers in the late 1960s, Bali has become not only a major international surf destination but also a creative centre of surf culture and art. It was the surf that first brought German artist Olli Fraenkel to Bali and has kept him here ever since.

Click Images to Enlarge

The startling designs that typify surf culture and art as seen on surfboards and clothing trace their origin to several diverse sources. Graffiti started as a way for urban youths to express themselves in neighborhoods like the Bronx in New York. It rose to prominence during the rise of hip-hop culture.

The first real graffiti artist was Taki183. He worked as a foot messenger in New York City and wrote his nickname (also called tag) around the New York City streets that he frequented during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Another important inspiration is tribal art including Indonesia’s own dynamic tribal heritage – the Dayak of Borneo, Toraja of Sulawesi and other minority groups from Sumba, Flores, Timor and New Guinea.

As a dedicated graffiti artist producing works under the pseudonym of, Olli explained is youthful urge to spray paint the dull grey Predictability of his birthplace with vibrant colors and designs. After working on corporate design and websites during the day, wandering the world on surf trips during his free time, the multi-talented Olli settled in Bali where he designs for surf wear, works on 3-D computer art as well as photographs.

His passion for spray-painting murals remains but of late he has begun painting on canvas as well as concrete. The dynamic results show yet another face of his alter ego and in a sense unifies his diverse disciplines into one. Using mix media to great effect his works such as “Sunshine” is surprisingly complex yet refined without losing movement.

From the viewpoint of large murals these works are Olli’s equivalent of graffiti miniatures. The connection of his persona and Indonesia are eloquently summed up in the comment, “The vast cultural similarities and divides between the islands of Indonesia truly inspired him to venture deeper into his love of the world of art, and to share his style of artwork with communities”.

The 3 Dimensions of
Art by Olli Fraenkel

February 9 – April 2, 2012
Ganesha Gallery
Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay
Open Daily 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

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