The first stop today was at the wonderful banana leaf shaped buildings of The Affandi Museum. These were designed by himself to exhibit his paintings and the first of three opened in 1974.
Affandi was self taught, his only teacher was the Studio magazine from London filled with works by the impressionists. His parents wanted him to be a doctor, but he cut short his studies to draw and paint, initially getting himself work as a sign painter. Saving the ends of tubes of paint he used them on his own work at home. When he was successful selling a few he decided to dedicate the first 10 days of every month to his own work.
Affandi grew up quite cut off from mainstream modern art. It wasn’t until the late 1930s that he saw the first exhibitions of major Western artists, Gauguin, Kandinsky and Picasso, held in Jakarta.
In the 1950s his work became more expressive, he squeezed paint straight from the tube to draw and his fingers to smear it and create tone and texture, an effect he liked!
I could see how he was influenced by all these great painters very plainly, his paintings show such vigour and varieties of style, it was very inspiring and reminded me of my earlier more experimental days !
Also really amazing were the wood carvings by his good friend the famous Balinese sculptor, Nyoman Tjokot, he carved whole tree trunks and made a quite wonderful table and chair set, covered in Balinese mythological creatures,I loved them !
Next we visited the Royal palaces, which I am afraid to say I found did nothing for me, other than the voluntary guards dressed in traditional batik. The museum guide was telling me to take photos of things I didn’t really want to take, I had to fake enthusiasm ! I must mention this was not Yanti, I was obliged to use an official palace Guide. I took a photo of her and I think that will certainly remind me of my March round the Royal grounds !