His full name is Ahmad Raji Pranoto. But he is known as Pranoto - just Pranoto. The name is like a warm welcome - like "please call me by my first name". And it is a bit like Pranoto's art - you feel at home from the very first encounter. Pranoto's strength is the play with light and shadow - the great "leitmotiv" of the French impressionists.
Pranoto masters the display of light like nobody else. One is reminded of Paul Gauguin who made his greatest works in the South Sea. And one begins to realize that the influence of light in Pranoto's art works must have something to do with this country - its climate, its people and its rich traditions of art and artisanship.
First Publication: December 2005
Latest Update: May 2013
The following resumé was written by Pranoto and edited by Dieter Wanczura.
"Pranoto was born in a small village outside Solo, Central Java in 1952. He was driven to be an artist from an early age, so he moved to Ubud, Bali in 1974 to pursue his dream. He changed course from his background in batik to be a painter and nothing else. He was successful in his ambitions and has participated in solo and group exhibitions throughout Indonesia.
As an early arrival in Bali, he has been a support to many artists settling in Bali, also providing advice and guidance. Over the years he has collected his friends' work, which is what led to the establishment of Pranoto's Art Gallery in 1996. This has been a wonderful project, not only for the presentation of his collection, but for solo and group exhibitions, and the model sessions that take place twice a week at the gallery.
Pranoto has always enjoyed experimenting with different techniques and media, constantly adding new skills to his repertoire. The model sessions have provided a space to experiment and marked the most productive era of his artistic life. He has experimented with tinted plaster on ceramic, pastel on sandpaper and pastel paper, as well as oil paint on sandpaper, which provides a rich texture to work on and a dark ground.
Currently he is working in charcoal on paper, which he has exhibited in Bali and Australia. These works are more like "painting with black and white" than they are drawings, as one artist commented.
Pranoto's work reflects his colour sensitivity and passion to capture the presentation of light, which creates a luminous glow to his figures."
Author: Dieter Wanczura
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