Lessons from the Blanco Renaissance Museum: Ubud, Bali
Ubud is a town oozing with art and creativity. The craftsmanship in the temples, the stylised/sculptured gates in most houses, and the colourful, silky sashes of local women and the Batik ethnic prints of men’s headgears and sarongs, are all perfected inorder to put (knowingly or unknowingly) a non-stop, real-life theatre show to the happy tourists and expats that come to Bali. Artistic inspiration is commonplace, but ripe and stimulating.
It’s no surprised that Don Antonio Blanco found in Ubud his home and inner sanctum for his own artistic pursuits.
The Blanco Renaissance Museum stands as a testament of the founder’s work and life story. The palatial house is filled with his drawings, works of art, and a formidable giant insignia. Some of the rooms are left untouched for years and would have looked exactly the same during the maestro’s heyday.
His work of nudes and erotica are the ones that are striking for me. He obviously loved the naked flesh of women, exhibited by him through passionate strokes of paints, enshrined in playful, equally romantic sculptured wooden frames. Although criticised sometimes as a Salvador Dali wanna-be (due to his wide open eyes gestures and dramatic poses very similar to that of Dali’s antics), he nevertheless left a lasting impression to the the people of Ubud and to tourists that come and visit his home. I’m yet to fully read his biography, but Don Antonio Blanco seemed liked a person who just followed his passion, lived happily in Ubud as an expat (quite comfortably I’d imagine as he was from a wealthy background), and was artistically productive during his time.
Copycat or original. It doesn’t really matter I guess. In the end you die.
And what have you left as your legacy for people to remember you?
At least Mr. Blanco had a mansion filled with his own artworks to show for it.
Above: This giant sculptural insignia is quite hard to miss as it greets you with its wide open…legs?
Above: Exactly as what the travel brochures say: “Bali is a lush, tropical paradise of temples and greeneries.”
Above: Relaxing views from the museum’s restaurant.
Above: Got licked. Dear Parrot, all you really get from my face are salty sweats and melting MAC cosmetics.
I would have loved to share some pictures of the artworks inside the museum, but I was told at entry that it was forbidden. Also, this property is in one of the most scenic areas in Ubud. Even if you’re not into paintings, the sweeping view of hills, trees and bushes from the rooftop and even from the museum restaurant is worth the visit. And getting close with those fabulous colourful birds, of course!
Fashion/Style Notes: Headband by Prada S/S17, Shirt with cut-outs and gold accent by DANDVRAN studios, Pants by Issey Miyake, Sandals by Prada S/S17.
Location: Blanco Renaissance Museum, Ubud, Bali
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