Jan 17 2011
Rio Helmi is one of Indonesia’s best photographers – his work was mentioned in this month’s Bali travel piece in the New York Times – and he currently has a sale on his prints at his gallery on Jalan Suweta in Ubud. His sumptuous prints chronicle lives around Asia in places as diverse as Bali, Papua, Kerala, Thailand and Cambodia.
“These are mostly prints that I’ve done for different exhibitions,” he told me, adding that both works done on assignment and his personal work are in the mix. “Some of the images go back 20 to 30 years, but the prints are probably five years old, with some newer.”
Many of the images, which are mostly discounted by 20-30%, are “artist’s proofs”. Why are these so special? “When an artist or a photographer pulls the first print, it’s like the proof of what you’re going to do,” Rio says. “In terms of collectors, those are usually considered the most valuable because it’s the first print that was ever made of that image.”
The sale will go for another month or so, Rio says. Why the purge of beautiful works from his possession?
“The reason I’m selling those prints is that I have so many prints in my studio and gallery right now that I’d rather move them than let them stay and get damaged because it’s so crowded in there.”
If a print’s out of your budget, you could consider buying his new book Memories of the Sacred. The book, published in October, looks back across three decades of rituals in Bali.
Rio Helmi Gallery
Jl. Suweta 5, Ubud
T: (0361) 972 304
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