Affandi's choice of subject matter was often close to home, depicting traditional daily activities. Nevertheless many of his Indonesian works show subjects that exceed daily life and showing a deeper meaning for Balinese culture, but Affandi is only registering not commenting.
Barong is probably the most well known dance. It is a story telling dance, narrating the fight between good and bad. This dance is the classic example of Balinese way of acting out mythology, resulting in myth and history being blended into one reality. Affandi painted more Barongs; throughout his career he often repeated himself, almost always finding a new creative interpretation of the subject. He often spent days seeking out a subject and than perhaps a week or longer to study it. The actual painting is completely different. Affandi was known to be an impassioned, spontaneous and bold painter, usually completing a canvas in less than 90 minutes. As he states: 'After about an hour, I usually feel my emotions declining. It's better to stop then. The painting is finished' (Claudia Kalb, Affandi in America, Washington 1990 p.8)
The present lot is pre-eminently an example of Affandi's talents: The contradiction between his precise study of subject and his vigorous technique, endowed his works with a sense of intimacy and passion that overwhelms the viewers.