|Michel Balasis takes an insightful look at how human expression defines culture.
A recent one-person show in New York has taken Pop Chicago artist Michel Balasis to a new level of notoriety on the Pop Art scene. His painting style is pure comic book art, clearly derived from the influence of Roy Lichtenstein, yet pushed to a different level.
Michel Balasis is a Professor of Visual Communication at Loyola University in Chicago, who has developed his Pop Art paintings over a 25 year career as an exhibiting artist. It was his chance meeting with the afore mentioned Mr. Lichtenstein at the Castelli Gallery in New York that convinced him to pursue the comic book aesthetic full steam. He says, "Lichtenstein gave me the green light".
Retro style comic book characters are painted to an extremely clean finish, with high contrast color and bold yet somewhat refined black contour line. Then Balasis adds the catch phrase or idiom to bring the character to life. Often based on current societal trends, or social commentary, the dramatic effect can be funny as well as thought provoking to the viewer.
Born in France and raised by Greek parents in Michigan, Michel Balasis is a Pop Artist with a modern edge who draws from a wide range of life experiences. His bold graphic imagery is developed with heavy contour line while he references visual elements reminiscent of the Pop Art style circa 1960's New York.
A childhood filled with international travel and an acquired love for musical and applied arts are the basis for his continuing voyage into the art world. Painting in acrylics, Michel makes reference to popular culture derived from an addiction to cartoon and comic book imagery.
His work pushes context to the edge of visual communication as he continues to make subtle commentary about life in modern American society. Michel Balasis is influenced by everyday events in popular culture, as well as major artistic influences including the art of Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring and Pablo Picasso.
Michel maintains a studio and residence in Chicago. Currently a Professor of Visual Communication at Loyola University Chicago, he instructs classes in computer art and graphic design. Michel earned an MFA in Design from Michigan State University where he first began his research on the effect of technology on culture and the fine arts.
As a professional graphic designer, Michel Balasis has developed his stylized imagery with typography into the creation of a wide variety of printed material and marketing applications. His interest in new media includes developing and teaching graphic animation/multimedia art. Michel began exhibiting paintings at age 23. His most recent work reflects a deeper investigation of his interpretation of the human interface and reaction to a mass media dominated culture.
The Pop Art style continues to drive his bold, dynamic, high contrast imagery. Original work by Michel Balasis is available exclusively in Santa Fe, NM at POP Gallery. Contact us directly for commission opportunities and available art at 505.820.0788.