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Jakarta Post

In Memoriam: Symon, an iconic Bali artist

  • Philip Cornwel-Smith


Bangkok   /   Thu, May 14 2020   /  02:12 am

Into pop: American-born artist Symon was renowned for his vivid pop style with new iconic motifs.One of Bali’s most prominent artists — known by the pen name Symon — passed away on April 15 this year.A stylistic heir to Walter Spies, Le Mayeur and his mentor, the Indonesian-Dutch painter Arie Smit, Symon was among the last in the lineage of foreign artists who have helped raise Bali’s international profile as an exotic destination for art and design.

Renowned for his vivid pop style with new iconic motifs, he was born on April 13, 1947, as Ronald Thomas Bierl in Detroit, Michigan, the United States, and made Bali his home in 1978. He was installed in the Puri Kaler of Ubud Palace by the Ubud royal family, who had for decades been patrons of foreign artists.

Symon later took over Arie Smit’s cottage in nearby Campuhan, where his studio grew into local landmark. In ...