Mangu Putra’s usual choice of subjects contains the wilderness, fish, mountains and other forms of nature. In an interview, he mentions that nature ties his works together; they form his goal of revealing the true essence of nature by capturing and translating it into a visual-aesthetic language. Perhaps that is why his paintings are not true-to-life as we understand it. His work goes even further and seeks to reveal the underlying spirit of his subjects, which in this case is the forest. Hence, the artist could be said to articulate an enchanting reality that replaces or even surpasses our current one.
Putra’s recent paintings Rimba (Jungle) and Yellow Forest, build on his oeuvre of intricate, hyperrealist depictions of ethereal Balinese landscapes. Yet, rather than painting idyllic scenes, Putra expresses a deeper, more nuanced relationship with nature. Possessing a critical view of man’s effect on the environment, Putra captures how these landscapes are at once divine yet fragile.