|Very few Australians figure in
Balis expatriate community in the pre-war period, long before the island become the
Tijuana of Sydney. Donald Friend was a talented young artist when he was shipped off to
Malaysia as an army artist during the war. There he produced some of the most powerful
drawings of his career. In search of escape from Lanka. His first visit to Bali came in
1967 and he quickly become enamored of the still vibrant beauty of its living culture and
the freedom he could exercise as an expatriate. The beginnings of the Batu Jimbar
community in Sanur can be traced to Donald, Chris Carlisle and Wija Waworuntu.
A controversial, passionate man, Friend created a universe within a universe in Bali As collector he amassed prodigious amounts of art, including a large collection of bronzes which are now in the National Museum in Sydney and a large Dong Son drum which ended up in the collection of Sammy Eilenberg in London. Virtually single handedly, he created and supported a village of antique dealers who soon began manufacturing for him and his circle. Numerous young creative Australian person alities including Mechael White, Shane Sweeney and Van Wieringen owe a great debt to Friend whose antics and style liberated them from the constraints of Australia during the Eisenhower era. Friends house was a hive of activity and the in place to be in the 1970s. His court can be considered the last held in the grand tradition of Spies. Its demise spelled the end of an era.
Today considered one of Australias most important artists, his work displays a strong, often agitated line, in his pen and ink drawings. His large oil canvases are usually much more decorative and frequently allegorical. They hearken back to early Italian Renaissance frescoes with strong earth pigment colors and liberal use of gold leaf. While it must be admitted that he captured the beauty of Bali it should be with a footnote that it was Donald friends private Bali. Donald ledan increasingly eccentric gay lifestyle in the early 80s and alienated several close friends. Seriously ill he packed up and left the island in 1985 under unhappy circumstances only to die tragic death in a squalid apartment in Bondai Junction in Sydney in 1990.
other foreign artists
W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp | C.L Dake | P.A.J. Mooijen | Willem Dooijewaard | Rolland Strasser
John Sten | Walter Spies | Rudolf Bonnet | Miguel Covarrubias | Isaac Israel
Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Mepres | Theo Meier | Willem and Maria Hofker | Emilio Ambron
Auke Sonnega | Romuldo Locatelli | Lee Man Fong | Antonio Blanco | Arie Smit
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