Antonio Blanco (b.1911 - 1999) was born in Manila. His parents were Spanish, and he drew his inspiration from Miro and flamboyance from Salvador Dali. His father settled in Manila during the Spanish-American War, where he attained prominence as a physician. Blanco was educated at the American Central School in Manila and proceeded to the National Academy of Arts in New York under Sidney Dickinson. During those early formative years, Blanco concentrated on the human form, fascinated by the female body more than any other subject matter. To further his studies and ignite his travelling spirit, he travelled extensively before he finally settled in Bali in 1952. The King of Ubud gifted land to Blanco for him to set up his home and studio in Campuan, Ubud, at the confluence of two sacred rivers. Blanco and his Balinese wife, the celebrated dancer Ni Ronji, lived in their mountain retreat, barely leaving it for the world outside. Following a brief trip to the United States, where Blanco acquired many new collectors, the couple never left their fantasy home again.
Blanco lived and worked in his magical hilltop home until his death in 1999, feverishly creating his fantasy portraits of beautiful women. Surrounded by lush gardens, rice fields and with a Banyan tree standing over his family's temple, Antonio Blanco proceeded to create a new reality for himself.
His paintings are much sought after by art collectors. He has been recognized both in Indonesia and abroad and received numerous awards. He has gained eminence as a prominent Indo-European artist and his works are auctioned frequently. His art collectors include famous figures like Indonesia’s past presidents, Soekarno, H.M Soeharto and as well as Michael Jackson
“Portrait” of a man is a rare painting as Blanco often painted women. “Portrait” reflects Blanco’s mastery of colour, form and in encapsulating the essence of his striking subject. This painting has a Certificate of Authenticity from the Blanco Renaissance Museum in Ubud, Bali and the frame was specially created by the Museum to complement the “Portrait”.
Sotheby’s Singapore, 9 October 2005