Davide Balliano‘s late body of work has a characteristic thematic vocabulary that underlines the continuity in what fascinates the artist in his own minimalistic world. The Italian born and now New York-based emerging artist Davide Balliano (b.1983) is significantly celebrated for his minimalistic canvases in which he demonstrates his allegoric concerns about the universe and the human nature. Loyal to his promise to keep aesthetically simple concepts and ideas, Balliano develops his engagement with abstraction and geometric depictions in a way that lends to each of his paintings a luminary sense of mystical message to the viewer. Although the artist has also shown his commitment to other art mediums –such as ceramic, stone and sculptures in wood– his main means of expression are paintings. His painting series are predominately black and white oriented, subtly elegant with alluring enigmatic foundations, e.g. monochromatic white canvases accompanied with a sophisticated count of dots or black lines that shape a mysterious illusion with their leaning.
Words: Yannis Kostarias
The majority of his paintings feature finely-balanced black lines, varying in scale and size, that construct confined visualizations, almost reminiscent of a labyrinth, in which the brush strokes’ shapes magnetize the gaze of the viewer and increase the depth of the painting. To further underline the effect of these subtle proportions, Balliano skilfully plays with the degree of psychological or intellectual profundity which is reflected in his work. Conveying a sense of perfectly constricted space, Balliano’s painting process brings out the aesthetics of equal proportions on canvas. By paying attention to his visual depictions, a remarkable sense of balance is transmitted to the viewer’s eyes and mind enabling the audience to reach a state of aesthetic equilibrium. Alongside his paintings, ceramic sculptures usually complete the display highlighting the ephemeral dimension of materiality and increasing the contrast between the painted symbolisms on canvas and the physical objects in space.
At another level, Balliano’s artistic vocabulary unveils allegoric visionary remarks that call attention to painters, such as Heinz Mack, Ufan Lee or even Dadamaino, who all have achieved a remarkably enigmatic precision in their series of symbolic optical illusion works. Probably, creating an enigma is an essential component in art making and this is carefully realised by Balliano’s imagery. His recent show at Tina Kim gallery in New York showcased some unique art pieces that embody an aesthetic quality that cannot be interpreted by language, yet it is able to leave the visitor perplexed and hooked.
In his interview with ArtVege, the artist interestingly analyses both himself and his artistic practice providing some catchy details.
ArtVerge: Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
Davide Ballliano: In my painting practice I work layering plaster, gesso and various lacquers and varnishes on wood panels. My sculptures are often produced with the skillful help of makers and fabricators following technical drawings. When the process allows it, I finish the surface details and the coloring.
How would you define your work in few words?
Sober, austere, minimal, serene, graphic and mystical.
When is that moment you realise that an artwork is finished and ready to present it?
When it stops crying.
Do you have a favourite book, film or painting, which inspires you?
The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati as book, The Turin Horse of Béla Tarr as movie and far too many paintings to name them all. The first that comes to mind is a large square white monochrome of Robert Ryman in the collection of the Dia Foundation in Beacon NY.
When was the latest video you watched on social media and had an impact on your mood? Which one?
A pug on a swing I saw this morning.
What things does your mum think about your art?
She often seems to understand it much more than me.
Which exhibition did you visit last?
Chung Seoyoung at Tina Kim, Alice Neel at David Zwirner and Pedro Reyes at Lisson.
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Thank you to everyone that came by on Thursday night to celebrate the result of so much work. To share it with so many friends and colleagues has been a joy. A big thank you to Tina Kim and her incredible team. Working with them has been a pleasure and a privilege. And above all, thank you to my lover, found treasure and soon wife @maria_sprowls that made all this possible with her endless support, love and patience.
What is the last thing you bought?
A new cards holder at Muji. The old one was ripping holes in my pockets.
Is the glass half empty or half full ?
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I evolved into a brutally early morning person.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Between New York City (where I do live since 10 years) and the countryside of upstate New York.
Which are your plans for the near future?
I’ll be extremely busy with work until May then I’m getting married to an angel.
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"I see my work more as a collection of signs rather than symbols, so I believe the meaning can be as open as all the possible readings of them. I’d love my work to be physically felt rather than understood because the notion of understanding implies the possibility of an incorrect understanding, and I’m in no position to judge what is correct or incorrect reading of my work, as sometimes I barely understand it myself. That said, here are my thoughts on colors and shapes…"// Check out the #linkinbio for #DavideBalliano's full interview with #blouinartinfo "Davide Balliano's Mystical Geometrics at Tina Kim Gallery."