Jules de Balincourt

Selected works by Jules de Balincourt

Jules de Balincourt
Ambitious New Plans


Oil on Board

102 x 152cm
Force-fed on TV and an all-American mind-junk diet, Jules de Balincourt’s paintings are crafted with democratic gusto. Painted on board, De Balincourt’s faux-naif style paintings are underscored with grainy DIY texture. His folk-art cum genius approach to painting offers a free-for-all licence for his witty and apocalyptic social commentary. In Ambitious New Plans, Jules de Balincourt comically pictures a parliament of evil: starched shirts and pink faces, the order of world business is darkly portrayed as akin to a teetotallers’ craps table. Caught somewhere between a 1960’s cold war film still and anti-Bush propaganda, Jules de Balincourt swaps the blazing crimson of Communism for down-home barn-door red.
Jules de Balincourt
Boxing Your Subconscious


Oil and enamel on panel

61 x 122 cm
Jules de Balincourt
Untitled (Bull)


Mixed media

40.3 x 61 x 102
Jules de Balincourt
U.S World Studies II


Oil and Enamel on Panel

122 x 173cm
Jules de Balincourt borrows from the pop tradition of Jasper Johns to reinvent the American map according to his own satirical world order. In U.S World Studies II, Jules de Balincourt divides the US into a jumble of brightly coloured squares – all-inclusive but without logic (Florida’s been transported to the mid-west, and California’s now the Deep South). Jules de Balincourt pictures this new America as a self-contained rainbow-hued continent of disunity, pitted against the dark forces of the rest of the world: a swarthy no-man’s-land comprised of dwarfed and sketchy nations of dubious consequence.
Jules de Balincourt
U.S World Studies III


Oil, Acrylic and Enamel on Panel

150 x 183cm
In US World Studies III, Jules de Balincourt turns national politics into a game of formalist composition. Rendering the entire country in Republican red (die hard Democrat zones are given a muddy rouge cover up), and allocating each state with coloured bands of financial affiliation, Jules de Balincourt presents a nation artistically adjusted for visual (if not political) harmony. Placed against a white ground, and elegantly framed with black contours, Jules de Balincourt clumsily imitates the style of maps found in 20th century text books: suggesting a wilful and humorous alteration of official history.
Jules de Balincourt
United We Stood


Oil and Acrylic on Panel

41 x 51cm
Mimicking the graphic design of 1940’s newsreel credits, Jules de Balincourt’s United We Stood provocatively harks back to a time when US patriotism was untroubled and convincing. Painted in vibrant colours, Jules de Balincourt renders this logo strange: transplanting history to a contemporary context, its significance is lost amidst graffiti and disco era reference. Made with spray paint stencils and tape-ruled brushwork on wood panel, Jules de Balincourt’s authoritarianism suggests a lurid sub-plot of make-do survivalism.

Jules de Balincourt’s sculptures are created with the same home-brew imaginativeness of his paintings. Crude and funny, they champion crafty determination, inspiration and the power of grass-root enthusiasm. Untitled (Bull) is a withering miserable beast. Sewn together like an abused stuffed toy, it bleeds patriot colours of red, white, and blue. Jules de Balincourt caricatures a raging market on its last legs: an orphan-like object, repugnant, yet pathetically simpatico.
Jules de Balincourt
People Who Play and The People Who Pay


oil and enamel on panel

127 X 122cm
Painted postcard pretty, Jules de Balincourt’s The People Who Play and The People Who Pay puts the lives of ’the beautiful ones’ under scrutinous surveillance. A generic symbol of luxury, this anonymous hotel could be anywhere: amidst the requisite palm trees and slightly shabby glass towers, sunburnt tourists mill about in their nowhere world of privilege. Within the aura of leisure, the all Black staff bustle unnoticed, their stealth-like omni-presence duplicitously reassuring. Picturing vacation life in all its ’idyllic’ glory, de Balincourt presents a precarious and humorous view of 4 star resort cum bourgeois ghetto.
Jules de Balincourt
Internal Renovations


Two panels, acrylic, oil and spray paint on panel

220 x 300cm
Jules De Balincourt’s Internal Renovations pokes sly fun at European political and economic structures. Portraying a continental landscape with postcard twee-ness, De Balincourt conceives this idealised slice of Bavariana as an interactive museum display. Reflecting a desperate preservation of post-war romanticism, De Balincourt’s village glistens with the false identity of nostalgia tourism. Transversed by speeding Euro-Rails, his picturesque scene sets up a metaphorical premonition of train wreck waiting to happen.
Jules de Balincourt
I Infect You, You Infect Me


Oil and enamel on panel

121.9 x 213.4cm
Jules de Balincourt’s I Infect You, You Infect Me posits the tensions of abstract painting as a ground for warfare. Flanked on either side by slogans in hand rendered techno font, De Balincourt’s composition is unleashed with parodic authoritarianism. Rendered with the hard edged graphics of primitive special effects, coloured bands explode towards each other, colliding in the centre in a ball of spindly chaos. With its humble aesthetics, De Balincourt’s painting portrays aggression with a pathetic sympathy, outlining the unspoken rules of basic human interaction.


Art in America, May, 2005 by Brian Boucher

During the 2004 presidential campaign, Outback Steakhouse gave $681,000, or 95 percent of its political donations, to Republicans. Kmart donated $621,000 to the GOP--86 percent of the company's contributions. Tricon (not a defense contractor, but rather the owner of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell) sent Republicans $134,000--87 percent of its giving.
These figures appear in the painting U.S. World Studies III (2005) and set the tone for 'This Is Our Town," Jules de Balincourt's second solo exhibition at Zach Feuer (LFL). In the painting, a crazy-quilt-style map of the U.S. is ensnared in a surreal knot of highways analogous to the sinister financial traffic it reveals. The image is reminiscent of activist information campaigns and last fall's endless statistical analyses of red states and blue states.
Critics aptly described de Balincourt's first show here, in 2003, as a ruefully ironic view of our cultural climate; now the artist's tone is more sarcastic and partisan, satirizing a climate of fear: in more than one painting, people literally run for the hills. Several paintings are peopled with mysterious commandos: In Insiders and Outsiders (2005) they stake out a suburban compound complete with watchtowers incongruously plopped amid wintry mountains. Meanwhile, the men seated around large tables as if at summit meetings in a pair of works titled Ambitious New Plans (both 2005) personify a clueless old guard.

Source: findarticles.com

By Nadja Sayej in The New York Art World

In the final scene of film adaptation of George Orwell's novel, 1984, Winston Smith caves into the totalitarian propagation of Big Brother by writing "2+2=5" with his finger in table dust. Although Winston is seen ultimately as a symbol for defeated societal passivity against government control, he also stands as a free thinker. He questioned his oppression in a secret diary that he hid in the wall of his desolate apartment from the "thought police."
This ominous, paranoid surveillance that confronted Winston is paralleled through political re-constructions in Jules de Balincourt's This Is Our Town. Through an ambiguous illustrative narrative, these new paintings objectify anonymous authority figures (oddly resembling plastic toy figurines), as they are shrunken into proportionally large paranoid landscapes that unfold at our own suspicion.
In his previous show in 2003, a cheeky humanitarianism defined his psychedelic-palette works along with a welcoming tree house sculpture. This time around, social and environmental issues are investigated; but with stronger government and political aesthetic. We are taken into uneasy board rooms instead of hand-holding forest fires.
It is apparent that smug people hold power, but what and over whom?

Source: thenewyorkartworld.com