Jules de Balincourt has lived in the United States since childhood, where his consumption of all-American television seems to have infiltrated his way of thinking. This powerful, hyper-real exposure appears to have made its way into his dynamic and compelling paintings, resulting in heady, high-temperatured works, luscious in oil and saturated colour and often jarring to the viewer.Read More
Amalgamating movements such as Pop art, folk art, figuration and abstraction, de Balincourt brings an array of formal properties into one dreamlike space. Painting on board, the artist rarely works from photographs or images. Instead he uses tools such as stencils, tapes and knives to improvise so that each work turns out unique. In varying sizes, de Balincourt’s formally diverse works are linked through motifs and subject matter that include cityscapes, mise en scènes and formally arranged figures.
Some of de Balincourt’s paintings are abstracted and stylised so that the viewer’s own intuition is brought into play, as with Illuminated (2012). Others such as City Dwellers and Star Seekers (2010) and High and Low (2013) are more figurative but still wholly imaginative, with soft and hazy colours and a slightly warped perspective. De Balincourt’s paintings offer escapism; not only does one lose themselves in the faux-naif brushstrokes and lines, but the scenes invite one to think about the individual figures depicted and their lives, as well as perhaps their relationship to the voyeurism of Alfred Hitchcock’s films.
De Balincourt’s paintings often feel incomplete, as if an idea has been presented but its closing argument is yet to be heard. There is a suggestion that something more might be brewing below the surface. Because of this, the viewer’s own response becomes pertinent to finishing the work’s logic.
In 2005, de Balincourt completed his Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College, New York. It was also in New York in 2006 that he founded the alternative art space Starr Space (formerly Starr Street Projects). He ran this space for three years, hosting projects by artists and performers alongside other art events and community programming. Today de Balincourt uses this space as his studio.
Jessica Douglas | Ocula | 2017
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