Simon’s Art Zoo: Ubud Bali

by Nick on November 16, 2006

by Nick | November 16th, 2006  

Bali is rich with art museums. One of the weirdest is Simon’s Art Zoo, in Ubud. If you need a break from the traditional Baliense art scene, why not drop into Simon’s?


Simon’s Art Zoo is located on Jl. Raya Campuhan, the main road just past the turn off for Penestanan. Symon is an American artist from the Midwest, who has lived in Bali since 1972 and has a taste for the exotic. Outside his place is sign saying ‘Danger Art!

Symon’s paintings use very vivid colors like Arie Smit‘s, and Andy Warhol’s. He seems to favor Balinese boys, in various stages of undress, as his subject matter. The building itself is an artist’s dream, large, 2 storey, plenty of light and places for hanging the art. The view from the upstairs loft was great too overlooking the paddies.

I felt like I was walking through Andy Warhol’s bedroom, with statues, paintings and other creations around every corner. Upstairs I saw 2 local artists working away sitting on the floor. There’s a photo of Simon in a book with Arie Smit (Symon is on the right). I asked the main guy on duty, if everyone was gay, because of the predominant subject matter, and he said “No only one guy.”

You can check out Symon’s in about 20 minutes if you are quick, although there is a lot of stuff to look at. There’s no admssion fee you just walk in. The place is open everyday. Symon is an original and you might enjoy a visit to his gallery.

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Simon’s Art Zoo

Where is it?
Ubud / Campuhan
How do you get there from Kuta?
From Kuta you can drive to Ubud, then take Jl. Raya Ubud heading west, till it turns into Jl. Raya Campuhan. Simon’s Art Zoo, is located close to the left hand turn for Penestean.
How long does it take to get there?
About 90 minutes from Kuta.
Opening hours:
Open daily from 8am -5pm.
from 8am -5pm
Admission:
Free.
What’s there?
Vivid color paintings, mostly portraits. Style is similar to Andy Warhol.
Which artists are featured?
Simon himself and local Balinese artists.
Are the paintings for sale?
Yes. Bargain.
Who would Simon’s Art Zoo be good for?
Art lovers. People who want a taste of something different. Gay men.
Who would Simon’s Art Zoo not be good for?
People who do not like pop-culture art. People who are looking for ‘tradtional style art’. People who study ‘fine art’. People who feel uncomfortable about gay inuendo.
What’s the best thing about Simon’s Art Zoo?
The location is great, very close to downtown, with a view over a gorge. The studio is the kind of place you’d just love to sit and paint a picture. The guy just give a damn waht people think.

{ 1 comment }

Kim March 5, 2007 at 12:52 pm
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I just came over your November post on Symon. You may like to know that there is another Symon Art Zoo in the north of Bali, near Singaraja, almost on the beach, but on the land side, close to the coastal highway, near the temples. It is larger than his place in Ubud, looked after by handsome young men, probably models, who live there.
I enjoy reading your Bali blog.
Best regards
Kim

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