|Ominous, alone...(2012);24 x 24"; oil paint on panel|
Second Sight and the Balance of Opposites
James Balla is poet as painter, or the other way around. Living a quiet life as an artist in Provincetown, a quiet life that of course rages like the sound and the fury. How could it not? The farther you get away the closer you get. He is surrounded by nature. It permeates everything he sees, everything he feels, everything he paints. The broad sweep of ocean and sky. The way light and pattern play across that expanse. The way in one motion he can discover something washed up on the sand at his feet, and then look up and explode beyond the infinite, beyond the imagination, beyond the horizon, beyond the clouds, beyond the stars. How he takes that, and makes sense of it, and transforms it, is what gets gifted to us in his work. That is what he frames for us, lays at our feet, shows us with a wave of his hand. The results are always somehow primordial, even mythical. Somehow prehistoric in the best sense of the word. Before we got here. Somehow just between us and our maker. Creation. Not much in between.
|Untitled(2003); 15 x 15"; oil enamel on mylar|
Art's paradoxes. Dada's anti-art art; Surrealism's dream made real(or is it the other way around); Pop's commodity as art(or again, is it the other way around); Minimalism's less is more. How much time have you got? It is all there in the work. As much as James Balla loves nature, he loves art. They are the light out of darkness.
We have this to look forward to and we do. Wash away the winter; summer is here. A new season. A new body of work from the poet artist James Balla! Behold! Ecco! And of course, as always, just a word of caution! Keep your eyes peeled! Things aren't what they seem. Pay attention. And let the work play, wash over you, sneak up on you like that tsunami. Feet in the sand, feet in the surf. Waves going in and out.
Addison Parks, Spring Hill, 2013
James Balla has an upcoming retrospective at PAAM in Provincetown opening June 28, 2013