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Exploring Affandi's Artistic Brilliance: Horsemen, Self Portrait, and Erotic Series Paintings

  • Nov 30, 2023

“Who knows if I might die tomorrow; I have to keep painting and painting and painting.”

Affandi is a name known to both art enthusiasts and those less familiar with the art world, as this Indonesian maestro's impact has reverberated widely. As illustrious as his name, Affandi held solo exhibitions in Indonesia and toured Europe, represented Indonesia in international exhibitions in Brazil and Venice, won first prize at San Paolo, and held a solo exhibition at World House Gallery New York. 

In addition to his domestic and international exhibitions, Affandi also received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Singapore, was honored with the title of Grand Maestro from San Marzano, Florence, Italy, and received other prestigious awards. He has exhibited his works across London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Rome, Venice, San Paulo, North America and South America. It's no wonder that Affandi's eminence and each of his works have made him highly sought after by art collectors all around the world. 

Affandi, a brilliant avant-garde painter, developed a unique "paint directly from tube" style that is synonymous with him. He would extract the paint directly from the tube, and using his fingers and palms, apply it directly to the canvas, allowing his emotion to pour onto the canvas. Affandi received a scholarship to study art in India. Upon arrival, he impressed all the professors with his skills and was deemed as a Master artist, and instead, he lectured to the art students in India. 

In this collection, we have four rare and beautiful paintings by Affandi, each of them from a different series of his works. Global Auction is proud to present two paintings from his ‘Erotic’ series, one painting from his ‘Self-Portrait’ Series, and one painting titled “Horsemen.

Lot 002 | AFFANDI |Horsemen, 1964| Oil on canvas: 99 x 143.5 cm
Est SGD 161,000 - 223,000

“Horsemen" is a special painting by Affandi because he rarely paints horse as his subject for his artworks, and this particular piece was created during what many collectors believe to be the maestro's prime period.The Horsemen painting exudes the rider's pride. Affandi's lively and distinctive strokes effectively convey the animal's power and valor, which is enhanced by its scale and size. The large white horse, with its head held high, strong mane, and straight tail, appears dominant, drawing full light on its muscular body. 

The strokes of palette paint are bold and spontaneous, creating a powerful effect on the viewers. In the background, Affandi used rhythmic strokes of dark green and white to create a balanced composition, and directed our focus to the white horse and its rider.  Affandi makes the rider blend into the darker background, as if disappearing from the composition, while another horse and its rider is visible in action in the distance.

Lot 004 | AFFANDI |Self Portrait, 1971| Oil on canvas: 46 x 56 cm
Est SGD 27,000 - 36,000

'Self-Portrait,' part of a series often produced by the maestro, reveals his narcissistic side as an artist. He enjoys spending time in front of the mirror, observing his face. Through this self-portrait, he reveals his true self, describes his changes as he ages, displaying his wrinkles, grey hair, and confidently embracing his flaws. His changing physique and state of mind is totally natural to Affandi. There are no limits to a work of art, especially for a maestro like Affandi; self-portraits are highly sought after and collected by art enthusiasts. Affandi's self-portrait series showcases his unique character and style in making this series. Just like Picasso and Van Gogh, Affandi is equally obsessed with creating self portraits over the course of his lifetime.

Lot 003 | AFFANDI |Making Love, 1970 | Oil on canvas: 95 x 136 cm
Est SGD 270,000 - 320,000

The pinnacle of Affandi's expressionist achievements is exemplified by his role as a pioneer in action-painting, evident in the highly sensational "Erotic" series. The paintings titled 'Making Love' and 'Embracing Couple' were created when the maestro was in Thailand. Through these artworks, we can observe the courage to display nudity and intimacy expressed on canvas as fine art, challenging the notion that such subjects are taboo to be displayed in public. 

Lot 005 | AFFANDI |Embracing Couple,1971 | Oil on canvas: 96,5 x 136,5 cm
Est SGD 270,000 - 320,000

Affandi pushes the boundaries of "taboo" in Indonesia, not only through nude paintings like many other artists, but also through intimate activities such as the series depicting two people in the act of making love. The erotic series are featured in books titled Affandi Vol. 1 by Sardjana Sumichan, Affandi Dalam Kenangan published by Musee d’irsam, and Edge Transference The Joy of Collecting Art by Deddy Kusuma.

We're excited to showcase Affandi's series in our upcoming December auction. Come join us for a preview where you can explore not just Affandi's works but also creations by other talented artists. The online auction will take place on December 8, 2023, at 7 PM (JKT).  If you need assistance or have any queries, our marketing specialists are here to help. Register and start bidding with us!


Wahyudin. (2007). Imagined affandi. Galeri Semarang.

Sumichan, R. & Kayam, U. (1987). Affandi. Yayasan Bina Lestari Budaya Jakarta.