Affandi is one of the world figures of modern painters in Indonesia that adheres to the pure expressionism, but at first Affandi’s career shows his artworks in photographic realist painting which means that his painting is like a picture taken from a camera.
In his artworks using pastel paint medium, signs of psychological factors are not revealed clearly. Examples of Affandi’s artwork in pastel medium, are “Kartika Affandi” (1939) and “Mother”(1940).
His realist paintings accuracy show how he has mastered the technique, yet there are also paintings in realism with rhythmic strokes showing traces of realist form lead to expressionism, as shown in a painting titled “Self-portrait” (1944), using watercolor with traces of impresionist style, as well as in the oil painting “Learning Anatomy” (1948). In this particular painting, Affandi started to pour his emotions through the objects he painted. He did not merely show his mastery on visual impression of the object, but emotional and aesthetic mastery began to be reflected in his paintings.
Affandi is a figure who did not discriminate ethnicity, nor origin. Affandi is known as an ordinary painter. Affandi is Affandi, he did not philosophize in his paintings, although he painted beggars, homeless people or himself. Affandi simply described the life itself. His ideas and objects were interrelated and he always explored his paintings objects before he painted them.
In the period of 1960s till the end of his life Affandi applied a technique by directly squeezing the paint from its tube to the canvas. He discovered this technique by accident, when completing his painting, suddenly his brush was broken so to keep on painting, Affandi squeezed the paint directly from its tube to the canvas, then used the back of his hand to produce the curvy lines.
Affandi placed his creativity on the gratification of the emotions and instincts to create the beauty that developed in the creation process took place spontaneously in accordance with the objects and his atmosphere and the feeling at that time.
Affandi painted effectively. He completed every painting in a short time, this was an inimitable ability. He painted by squeezing the paint directly from its tube onto the canvas. It is reflecting a mixture of instinct, sense, and awareness towards his objects.