If the average Balinese dude wants to make some decent money he doesn’t have many options open to him.
Driving a cab certainly isn’t going to make him rich (see my previous post) and neither is working in a hotel or in a restaurant. And as for rice farming, well, when was the last time you saw a rice farmer driving a Merc?
So what’s he to do?
Well aside from entering the world’s oldest profession and pursuing wanton middle aged women on the famous Kuta beach there isn’t much he can do.
Except perhaps for one thing.
Oct. 13 2009 (Bloomberg) -- A weekend of sales in Singapore showed that demand for Indonesian contemporary art has rebounded, with prices for some better-known artists such as I Nyoman Masriadi returning to pre-slump levels.
Borobudur Auction Pte’s Oct. 11 auction tallied S$9.6 million ($6.9 million), compared with the company’s presale estimate of about S$8 million. Masriadi’s 2008 painting “Book Lover” sold for S$588,000, against a top estimate of S$200,000.
One of the paintings sold at the auction was “the Garden at Sanur” by Jean Le Mayeur (1880-1958):
As you can see, it’s a rather bright and colorful affair and like a lot of Balinese art features a topless woman (in this particular case the artist’s Balinese wife, Ni Pollock). Nowadays of course people just take naughty photos of their wife/girlfriend and post them up on to the net for everyone to see - so I suppose you could say that Jean was very much ahead of his time.
Besides the Borobudur auction, Bloomberg also reports that another Indonesian painting - Masriadi’s “Bima Mencukur Bapak Arjuna” (“Bima Shaving Arjuna’s Hair”) - was sold for the incredible sum of S$436,600 in a different auction two days earlier.
Now where did I put my camera?