Revolt in Persona - Aver Pyno

Spray painted walls, tagged bridges, mural covered trains – these are almost everywhere in the city of Surabaya. Graffiti as we know is a form of an artistic expression, bold and sometimes spontaneous. They often make a statement about art, identity, rebellion, empowerment, political loopholes – sometimes even tickle the most sensitive taboos.

This November’s star under the #RevoltInPersona is Pyno, a good friend and a well-known visual artist in Surabaya. One Thursday in November 2020, we spent the whole day exploring under the soaring sun of Surabaya, visiting different locations of his art that was scattered across the city. We witnessed him bombing – where he spent 1,5 hours painting a deserted knocked loose wall near a small river.

His thirst for exploration in the world of art began when he was 15. That time, Pyno only tagged his name across walls and buildings in Surabaya. It was about getting up, being seen, and to let people know his name. Now 16 years later, his journey in the scene of street art is widely known.

Graffiti for Pyno has evolved over time - now it’s about exploration, a change of lifestyle and a form of expression. Now diving in futuristic and abstract patterns with vibrant colored hues, his inspirations grew from the things around him, events and occurrence he saw and felt daily.

“Once my art is out in the streets, it’s not about me anymore. People interpret it differently” said Pyno during our interview. “Graffiti for me is self-expression, it’s a bonus when others could enjoy my work.”

Creating new ways to explore and expand in his union towards the street culture, Pyno opens @spraymystery - the only graffiti store in Surabaya. His establishment provides a wide array of graffiti equipments from local to international cans, artworks, and merch produced by him. The humble 31-year-old artists is also the founder of @butdift streetwear, clothing line with a strong portfolio on graphic tees and accessories.

Pyno hopes that street art scene in Surabaya & Indonesia will somehow grow bigger – with younger generation equipped in positive attitude are willing to explore, travel. He also hopes that communities could be formed.


Written by Juanita Inez
Photo by Agung D.K.
Graphic design by Burhan Poetra