Meet Reif Myers, an incredibly talented Australian artist in Bali
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Reif Myers’s house in Uluwatu to interview him about his art! When I walked inside the house, I was immediately greeted by large paintings all around his two storey house.
Reif Myers is known for his abstract paintings, mostly consisting of Batman, sex robots, seagulls and a few other of his signature icons hidden here and there in his art, like umbrellas, San Pellegrinos, Paper Cut rosé, and Chanel handbags!
Reif was born in Maui, Hawaii, to an Australian mom and American dad. As Reif started telling me about his background, I find it interesting that he inherited his love of art from his mom, Jos Myers.
“My mom is a well known artist back in Australia. Growing up, she would take me to her studio after school. She would give me a canvas and a brush and just let me go wild.” Reif recalls.
Reif and his mom are currently building a house, right off the cliff in Uluwatu. I was happy to hear that Reif had been looking at Bali Interiors to find inspirations for his home, “My mom and I want it to have a Mediterranean style interior, and we’re planning to have an art studio in it as well.”
Before meeting Reif, I’d never heard of any other artist in Bali that likes to paint on surfboards. He showed me some of his work on a surfboard that is ready to be shipped overseas, “So I’ll buy a surfboard, surf it for a year, and then I will paint it and sell it. Then buy a new one,” he stated.
I can definitely say that Reif is one of my favourite Bali painters!
Aside from painting, Reif loves to surf. So when he was 15 years old, he combined these 2 passions and started a boardshorts brand called OZ Boardies. The boardshorts have his paintings printed on it. “It was supposed to be a school project, but when I finished the presentation I had like 20 people come up to me with a list of their sizes, so I figured I might as well sell it.”
Where do you get most of your inspirations from?
“Mostly from my surroundings or vacations. I’ve been to Nice, Monaco, and Positano recently, and I like to capture the memories from my trip through my paintings.” he explains.
Reif says he usually feels more inspired and motivated after coming back from a trip. His upcoming exhibition in London this September will showcase a collection of 10 paintings with European beach clubs and villas as the theme.
What is your most favourite and least favourite part of being a professional artist?
“My favourite part is being my own boss and the lifestyle that comes with it, you know. I paint when I want to paint. My least favourite would be having to sleep in the studio with the smell of fumes,” he jokes.
Reif likes to describe his work as ‘Where’s Wally’ for adults. He likes to put many little surprises in the painting, so people will spot something new each time they stare at his works. His works are meant to be conversation starter pieces, they are designed for dining rooms and living rooms and for the owner to be able to tell a story to their guests.
“But lately I’ve been learning that less is more. I want my work to fit more interior styles better.”
Which one is your favourite piece of artwork?
His favourite piece is currently in Australia and not here in Bali with the rest of his artworks, so he wasn’t able to show me. “It was from my first solo international exhibition in Dubai in 2019 called ‘Seagull in My Drink’. It’s an ultramarine blue painting with Batman and seagulls standing in a big glass of rosé,” Reif felt like it was his breakout piece so decided to keep it.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
Reif has been finding the time between surfing at the most beautiful beaches in Bali and working on his artworks for his upcoming exhibition. He had recently signed with an art dealer in Europe and he’s also currently doing a virtual exhibition.
“There’s a website where you can upload your artwork with the dimensions and they give you a template of gallery space where you can ‘hang’ your paintings, and you can walk around the gallery virtually on your phone or laptop.”
Do you still remember about the first piece of artwork that you’ve sold?
“I was 10 years old at the time and I did a series called ‘The Trolls’. One of my mom’s clients bought 3 of them. He actually owns the Karma Kandara resort so it was a cool first client to have,”
Karma Kandara is a luxurious resort overlooking the Indian ocean, located in Bali’s Bukit Peninsula, known globally as the ‘Billionaire’s Row’.
Lastly, are there any famous people or celebrities that you would like to see your work being displayed in their house?
“Some sort of a musical artist for sure. I don’t know why Miley Cyrus keeps popping up in my head,” he laughs, “and Leonardo Dicaprio. I feel like Leo would appreciate sex robots, San Pellegrinos and European beach clubs,”