Jules de Balincourt was born in Paris. Yet he grew up in Los Angeles, completed an MFA at NYC’s Hunter College in 2005…and then became one of the pioneers / central figures of the burgeoning Bushwick artistic community with his anything-goes Starr Space—where he could be found rubbing shoulders with the likes of Terrence Koh and Harmony Korine.
His work is now exhibited quite extensively (we caught a group show in Lille in 2019 that he was a part of), and is repped by galleries in New York, London, Copenhagen and Paris, where he is returning to help usher in Paris Gallery Weekend, the first significant art event in the French capital since the coronavirus lockdown back in March. Indeed, his dramatically titled new show There Are More Eyes Than Leaves on the Trees, opens July 2 at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in the Marais.
That title was actually culled from an old Costa Rican proverb, which posits that even in times of isolation (like, a global pandemic, for instance), the world around is always sort of aware of us and what we are doing. It also confronts the worsening relationship between humans and nature, especially as powerful political operatives continue to lay waste to crucial environmental protections.
But de Balincourt himself reveals that the featured works were very much an experiment in steering around, or away from narrative, in order to free the act of painting from any literal constraints.
“I was curious to see what would arise when simply painting a painting,” he explains, “pushing painting away from its narrative quality. I like the idea of placing the viewer at these crossroads of painting, in which one’s emotive response hovers between rational realism or figuration, on the one hand, and the abstract subconscious or primitive on the other.”
He hopes viewers will be allowed the privilege of traveling between the conscious/known, and the enigmatic/unknown. Which, considering the rather ominous, nay apocalyptic quality of our current reality, seems like not such a bad thing.