This show makes me wonder what magic would happen if you locked de Balincourt in a house with Adam Curtis, Massive Attack, Apparat, Louis Theroux, Jarvis Cocker and Wes Anderson. Painting rarely does that.
Human Nature doesn’t often big up exhibitions. But Stumbling Pioneers makes it time to start.
De Balincourt’s got it. Whatever ‘it’ is. Born in 1972 in Paris, his biography screams talent, dedication and recognition.
Stumbling Pioneers is a neon bright solo show wrestling with the sprawling sun drenched life of Los Angeles. It reflects the balance between man and nature, of a nation searching for something whist consumed by its own desire for growth.
This may well be a glimpse of American society seeking connection, whether with the earth, meaning or one another. If not so spiritual, it does certainly appear de Balincourt tells stories of our hunger for simplicity and fun in a world tangled in, perhaps, an increasingly broken system.
Full of contradictions, there is a dark undertone despite the show’s immediate poolside cocktail smile. This is the beauty of his work, an ability to see the rich variety of humans in all their dirty, unsavory ways yet balanced with a playful childlike need for fun. To me, stumbling Pioneers is a search for understanding, reflecting to a degree the beautiful development of a metropolis, packed with human ingenuity, architecture, colour and engineering yet a yearning for nature, exploration and ecological connection. Just as the first pioneers of the US experienced themselves, but in reverse perhaps.
And, oh, the colour. It’s powerful stuff.
I’ve not been so excited by painting in a long time. Thanks Jules, you’ve shown us just what it can do.
Jules de Balincourt: Stumbling Pioneers runs until 14th May