a Balinese artist
I came across this artist painting under the open verandah of his studio on the outskirts of Ubud. He was sitting cross-legged on a wooden chair wearing only a batik sarong secured by a leather belt. There are many 'artists' in Ubud of course - a former centre of cultural activity in Bali, now a place where art is manufactured for tourists. That is an observation which is far too cynical, however and this man's work was beguiling. His exquisitely detailed paintings, inspired by Balinese folklore, team with life and activity and seem to show man's essential symbiotic relationship with nature and our fellow creatures. The Master
Something about his wonderful face and the bettle nut stained smile that reminds me of Donald Friend, an Australian artist who made his home in Bali for several years. Perhaps they were acquainted. Thanks to an email from Indonesia, I now have a name for this man - I Wayan Gedot
Bali's serene beauty lured a number of European painters to take up residence in Ubud during the thirties. The work of Walter Spies, Rudolf Bonnet and Han Snel is on display in galleries around Ubud. These painters encouraged young artists of the district with advice, art materials and patronage which lead them to develop a style of painting that broke away from the rigid traditional forms of art in the service of religion. Their works depicted the everyday of Balinese life.
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created 24 october 1998