“I like to set out from data that is certain, be it real or imaginary in order to then proceed with what I like to call the dematerilization of vision. The initial impression remains, but it is difficult to find it again optically.” Balsamo’s art is not intended to capture forms, but rather to break them down in such a way as to bring them back to life and give them room by enabling them to move about and open up to the energies of the universe. The artist avoids representing man and nature, but rather provides – obsessively so at times – visual and chromatic itineraries that evoke memories and ideas referring to something which every viewer can find within himself.
Balsamo pursues the essence of the objects he has in mind or landscapes he beholds by leaving marks and traces in a state of lucid self-hypnosis, enabling them to take shape before his very eyes. Precisely on account of this traditional and yet at the same time extremely modern method, based on a painstaking preparation of backgrounds, on a detailed knowledge of painting techniques, and on a conscious use of colours, paper serves as an ideal medium: for even when breached, this surface preserves all of its properties, interacting and coexisting with the various structural elements. This medium brings out Balsamo’s graphic talent. It allows him to pay great attention to detail, use lighting in various ways – to harmonize shapes, for instance, or emphasize their dynamism and propulsive drive – and finally achieve an even faster and hence more instinctual method of execution. Paper becomes an active element in his work: at times one gets the impression that the rhythm of his strokes is actually set by the consistency and texture of the paper.
Balsamo regards each artwork not as a product but as a translation-reduction of nature: forms, in their frenzy to change, dart across the surface, shattering into a million fragments that in a changing present randomly reassemble through light. This is a new visual world, an original tale told through images – a search for truth through the rewriting of nature.
Nov 25th, 2012 – Feb 3rd 2013