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A talk with Jack Balas


Jack Balas is a Colorado-based artist specializing in figurative paintings and drawings in oil and watercolor. For the last 15 years, he has focused on depictions of the male figure, and is keen to present them in a variety of personal and societal scenarios that project them far beyond the traditional role of portraiture. Employing painted language in the form of titles, phrases, and paragraph-stories, the works take on the strategies of annotated documents, maps and calendars, and yet by their very depiction the men found in them also take on the politics of visibility – queer visibility and male visibility in general.

In his 2015 "Guy’d Book" publication Balas states, "I want my guys to go beyond objects of desire, to straddle the brawn vs. brains divide and do some heavy lifting… I put them out there as as a fait accompli, denizens of a post-gay world who take everyone’s gaze in stride, male or female, straight or otherwise. Ultimately, thus, the work is political."





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