Jack Balas : Tattoo Detour
Jun 28 – Aug 2, 2008
Continuing on a twenty-year, gallery/artist relationship, Robischon Gallery is pleased to present Jack Balas' tenth solo exhibition entitled "Tattoo Detour." Featuring new ink drawings, watercolors and oil on canvas, the figural works created on location in Hawaii explore the essential human desire for relaxation and play. The artist's thoughtful, yet spontaneous new series of works on paper are intimate in scale while ranging from a personal to an expansive narrative. Furthered by Balas' improvised sense of surface, the artist's athletic and contemplative male subjects reveal aspects of the sport culture from spur- of-the-moment table-top surfing lessons to tumbling volleyball games on the beach to fantastically-imagined and symbolic palm tree-sprouting surfboards. The numerous tattoos, both real and artist-imposed, extend the narrative of each drawn or painted image. In the watercolor and canvas paintings, the artist's unpredictable use of numbers and words create compelling elements both visually and conceptually, utilizing colored text within text to impart additional layers of interpretation. The incisive interplay between figure, word and medium all allow the viewer to engage both mind and eye.
Jack Balas received a painting fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities and a photographic fellowship from the Colorado Council on the Arts. He has exhibited extensively throughout the United States including the Denver Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, the Brooklyn Museum collection and the Logan Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. A portfolio of his work was published in The Paris Review. Concurrently though September 7, 2008, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver is featuring his progressive, site-specific installation entitled "We'll Be Seeing You" as part of its Artist-in Residence program. For this project, the artist delves beyond the surface of the physiognomy of identity in photographic portraiture to reveal hidden aspects of the subject's personality.