B. Indonesia, 1907 – 1990
Self Portrait with Rooster, 1975
Signed and dated with artist’s monogram and museum stamp on lower left
Ink on paper mounted on wood panel
39 x 42 cm
Provenance Private Collection, America Acquired from Austin Auction Gallery Estate of Marcia Brown, Antiques & Decor
RM 15,000 – RM 25,000
Affandi once stated that “…the motif I know and like best is that of my own face; ugly and reminiscent of the dwarf Sukrasana.” The painter Affandi has been called a “towering figure in the history of Indonesian modern art.” Affandi’s paintings often display his emotional responses to the lives of a people struggling to move out of poverty towards dignity. His style is expressionism, and his subjects include figures, animals, self portraits and Indonesian Genre. Affandi was born in Cierbon, West Java in 1907, the son of a surveyor at a local sugar factory. After finishing his secondary education he found himself increasingly interested in painting, and in his mid-twenties he emerged as a self-taught artist. During his early years he taught school, collected tickets at a movie theater and worked as a house painter, saving leftover paint for his canvases.
In the January 12, 1953 issue of TIME Magazine, Affandi’s working method is described as follows: Affandi never learned to use a palette, dislikes brushes. Instead, he squeezes paint on to his thumb, then smears it around the canvas. He will often spend a week studying a subject, but the actual painting seldom takes longer than 90 furious minutes. ‘After about an hour,’ he says, ‘I usually feel my emotions declining. It’s better to stop then. The painting is finished.’
Beginning in 1955 Affandi taught at the Indonesian Academy of Fine Arts in Yogyakarta. After participating in international exhibitions in Brazil and Italy, Affandi received a 1957 scholarship from the U. S. government to study arts education. He was made an Honorary Professor of Painting by Ohio State University, and in 1974 was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Singapore. He also received the Peace Award from the Dag Hammarskjoeld Foundation in 1977, and the title of Grand Maestro in Florence, Italy.
By the time of his death it is estimated that Affandi had created over 2,000 oil paintings. He also left sculptures in both cement and clay. Affandi’s unique home, which features a banana shaped roof sits on the bank of the Gajah Wong River in Yogyakarta. It is now a museum displaying over 300 of the artist’s paintings. Upon his death in 1990, Affandi was buried in the museum complex.