Jennifer Balkan, “The Wild,” oil on aluminum panel, 30 x 30 in.
Jennifer Balkan, “The Wild,” oil on aluminum panel, 30 x 30 in.

Jennifer Balkan’s first solo exhibition outside the U.S. opens July 6 at the Chimera Gallery in Mullingar, Ireland.

From the organizers:

Balkan’s newest body of work, “The Human Condition,” explores our repressed impulses, our id, our animal instincts, our demons, our monsters. She employs some mythical imagery to convey this duality in us. We struggle with urges that aren’t always acceptable. Some of this imagery is gender-flipped. These classic Greek symbols have historically been assigned to the male gender.

Jennifer Balkan, “Two Faced,” oil on aluminum panel, 24 x 24 in.

In these new works, gender doesn’t matter. The paintings here depict one struggling with oneself. As with painting metaphors, Balkan loves to describe the state quite literally. Humans like to distinguish themselves from other mammals by our unique level of intelligence, but our whole selves succumb to primal and emotional needs. And our socialization may both restrain or foment such impulses. We are socialized to hide or control some of the animalistic urges. But they are indeed what make us Human.

Jennifer Balkan, “There Are Two Sides to Every Story,” oil on aluminum panel, 30 x 30 in.

Balkan’s paintings are emotionally based psychological narratives where the details lie in planes of color. She strives to capture emotional states more than anything else.

Balkan is a full-time artist living in Austin, Texas. Her award-winning work has been featured in international art publications, and she is recognized as a leading contemporary figurative painter. She has exhibited internationally, and her work can be found in collections around the world. Last year, she co-founded Atelier Dojo, a realist art academy in Austin, Texas.

Jennifer Balkan, “The Other Side of Me,” oil on aluminum panel, 30 x 30 in.

Gallery owner Dave O’Shea writes: “The Chimera Gallery is in hyperdrive preparing for the visit of internationally acclaimed Jennifer Balkan. Jennifer came into our radar three years ago, and we followed her progress with admiration and awe. After we finally plucked up the courage to ask her to join the gallery, she did, with her signature beaming smile. Jennifer’s confidence is plain to see in her bold brushstrokes with a hoo haa to the color wheel and tonal values that make the hairs on the nape of your neck stand on end, as in the configuration of saluting a general. The Irish are waiting for her first international exhibition with open arms.”

Jennifer Balkan, “But I Am What You Are,” oil on canvas, 60 x 60 in.
Jennifer Balkan, “Tamed Beast,” oil on aluminum panel, 30 x 30 in.
Jennifer Balkan, “I See Myself in You,” oil on canvas, 60 x 60 in.

“The Human Condition” is on view at the Chimera Gallery (Mullingar, Ireland) July 6 through August 6, 2019.

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