Ubud has been a real Art Feast ! I went to several of Ubud’s lovely Art galleries ; Puri Lukisan, Agung Rai Museum of Art , Neka Art Museum and the eccentric Blanco Museum of Art, all of which were very enjoyable and set in beautifully exotic gardens filled with all types of Orchids and jungle greenery.
The Neka was the largest, set in three buildings, with displays of old Balinese paintings, expat and contemporary work. I enjoyed all the various styles of painting from the traditional highly detailed to the more modern contemporary approach.
Puri Lukisan, again with beautiful gardens, showed mainly traditional paintings, beautifully detailed scenes of Bali life and mythical stories. I met up with Sandy Infield for the day, who runs Art hideaways, art holidays in Bali. The rest of that day we spent mooching around Ubud’s little shops seeing all sorts of unusual and beautiful handmade creations and tourist knick-knacks. It was a fun day and lovely to have company.
The Antonio Maria Blanco Museum and Art Gallery.
The next day I ventured to the Blanco Museum, it was very close by so I walked down the narrow cutting of a road managing to avoid the scooters and vehicles. I climbed back up the other side of the rock into the Garden of Blanco and was greeted by a group of parrots and Cockatoos in all colours and shades, I was offered to hold one, but no thank you, they were huge ! The entrance to the building was ridiculously extravagant as was the inside.
The Renaissance styled Gallery was filled with Antonio Blanco’s paintings, almost totally of nude women, some on paper others in oil.
His style was figurative and fairly loose in technique, I didn’t think many of them were that well drawn and I thought some were really awful ! His self designed frames were more elaborate than many of the artworks they contained and in many ways were more interesting than the paintings.
Don’t misunderstand me, I very much enjoyed visiting the museum, it was elaborately kitsch and showed the eccentricity of a Spanish artist self styled in the 1950s as the Dali of Bali, who he much admired. He was obviously a really outlandish, colourful character, well loved by the Balinese.
Unfortunately I was unwell for a few days in Ubud with what’s known as “Bali belly”, so two days I spent resting in bed. It meant I felt rushed to do all the things I wanted to do in a shorter time. I think I have been very lucky not to have experienced it earlier in Yogjakarta, when I had so much on and people to meet.