Spirits of Ubud
|Dimensions||90 × 20 in|
Oil on Canvas
30 x 78
I visited Indonesia, and Bali, in 1994. There, I painted for two weeks while roaming the island with large canvases. On my very last day I had the opportunity to visit the mountain village of Ubud. My friends and I discovered that there would be a cremation that afternoon. We scrambled to get ‘properly attired’ with the correct headwear, ceremonial sashes, and sarongs. (Later, I incorporated these images into a still life, Fruits of Bali).
We followed the procession down through a crowded main thoroughfare. The deceased was enclosed in a papier-mâché, dragon Lembu. In a clearing of the trees, offerings were made to the God using foodstuffs and flowers, cigarettes, and money. The next day I boarded a plane for the long flight home. Immediately upon return I picked up the first canvas I could find in the studio to record my emotions of the event , the moment of the burning of the Lembu, is done in an expressionistic style with cubist elements in order to communicate my experience that day. The spirit leaving the body of the deceased is represented by the circles of paint applied directly from the tube to the canvas.
This painting has been with me since, in my personal collection. I think it is among the most creative and deeply personal paintings I’ve ever created.