Art: The Humanist

Indonesia's best artist is an affable, intense gnome of a man who bears the single name Affandi and admits to a single-minded devotion to art as human expression. Affandi once defined humanism as meaning "all that is right and good to every living creature. When I am making a painting, and suddenly I hear a child that is crying because its doll has fallen into the water, I have to stop painting and help the child first."

Despite such interruptions, which come frequently in Affandi's bamboo cottage in Djokjakarta, he produces a dozen or so pictures each year. He does them in...

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