Arie Smit, A Living Legend
Arie Smit was born in Zaandam in the the Netherlands on April 15, 1916 and was christened Adrianus Wilhelmus Smit. He first arrived in Batavia (Jakarta) in 1938. Drafted by the army he was set to work in the Topographical Service in the then Dutch East Indies. There he used to etch Balinese mountains onto maps and this ignited his desire to one day go to Bali.
In 1951 Smit became an Indonesia citizen. “I was so sure that this my is my country” he says. And he has stayed true to his words. Since his arrival in Bali in 1956, this tropical paradise has been his home and his inspiration.
Beside his fame as an artist, Smit is also known as the “father” of the young artist, a naÃ¯ve and brightly-coloured style of painting.
While Smit has now long been settled in Sanggingan near Ubud, he spent his early years in Bali moving from village to village. Karangasem and Buleleng, which became his favourite region. He believes it is important for an artist to live in a village, “..it’s quite different to visiting. And as a painter you must see the early morning and the late evenings.”
Even now, close to his 90th birthday, the tall, ramrod-straight artist can be found at his easel, transforming one of his sketches into a great work of art..
Source Garuda Magazine by Holli & Annemarie Hollitzer