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Kartika Affandi

Photo of Kartika Affandi

Biographical Info

Kartika is Affandi’s daughter from his first wife, Maryati. Her educational journey started from Taman Dewasa in Taman Siswa Jakarta, then she studied art at the University of Tagore Shantiniketan India and received training from Nandlal Bose and other modern artists. She also learnt about sculpting at the Polytechnic School of Art London.

In a modern art world born in 1930s, in which men were still the predominant actors, a legend in her own rights Kartika is one of a small group of women who from the mid-1980s have succeeded in exhibiting their work on a regular basis and in gaining limited critical recognition.

From the age of seven, Kartika was instructed by Affandi in how to paint with fingers and tubes directly on the canvas. Any mixing of colours is done on her hands and wrists. Kartika has no permanent studio; like Affandi, she prefers to paint outside in the village environment where she interacts directly with her subjects and on-lookers. Not surprisingly given their close bond, Kartika has painted numerous penetrating portraits of her father, right through the last years of debilitating illness at the end of his life.

In a society where emotion is suppressed, both publicly and privately, Kartika fills her canvases with intense feeling. In culture where genitals are considered taboo in representation, Kartika has painted her own nudity graphically. Even in this context, Kartika’s art emerges as unique, ranging as it does from conventional to subversive.

Kartika remains first and foremost a Javanese artist, but her work has influences from western painting and sculptures, and from Indian, Chinese, Japanese art styles.

Categories: Artist
Updated 11 months ago.