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Lot 073

b. Garut, West Java 1927 – 2000


Signed and dated 'popo 95' lower left
Watercolour on paper
12.5cm x 21cm

Private collection, Indonesia.

Accompanied with certificate from Griya Seni Popo Iskandar.

ESTIMATE  RM 2,000 - 3,000

This work on paper by Popo Iskandar represents the artist’s understanding of his subject matter’s characteristics as seen in its tri-coloured spots, green eyes and its movement as well as the condition it is in – the red background and the sun depicts a hot day. As a Sundanese, it is a cultural belief that the suppleness of a leopard is similar to the way a woman walks. The expression of the leopard appears wistful and the gaze of its eyes is calming. It is known that Popo uses the leopard as a follow up study of the cat. Elements of musical manifestation and compositional balance can be traced to the dark spots of the leopard. The spots were also developed from his painting of pebbles and stones at the river.

As written by Popo in Popo Iskandarkiran Rakyat in 1983: “A leopard is speechless in his amusement as he is surrounded by a swarm of fireflies, to which he can do nothing. This theme which has never before been touched upon in the jungle if Indonesian fine arts is perhaps a kind of humour which is gentle, teasing, even philosophical, up to the interpreter but yet clear, this is a kind of rest stop for a painter who has worked for 40 years, in which for an instant he can free himself from the problems of modern forms.”

Popo Iskandar is a celebrated figurative painter famous for his works of cats, roosters, tigers and leopards. His interest in cats is not merely in its form, but rather in the spiritual and condition circumstances that stimulate his imaginations to explore deeper. Popo expresses the subject’s physical attributes in a way that demands the understanding of his surroundings. The characteristics of each cat appear alive in his paintings. Besides analytically observing the nature of the cat, Popo integrates his fondness for traditional Sundanese music and poetry through the gestures of his brushstrokes as well as his choice of colour.

55 Tahun Seni Lukis Popo Iskandar, Mamannoor – Bandung: Yayasan Matra Media, 1998.