America and Europe: these are the two worlds of Miguel Balliache. This Basque-Venezuelan artist takes to life like a duck in water on both sides of the ocean. Established in San Sebastian since 2003, Balliache frequently travels to America, especially to Venezuela, where he was invited this year to exhibit his work individually in Caracas, and to Miami, the city where he studied painting and sculpture and where he has collectors that he visits often, especially during Art Basel – the great world art meeting.
His interest in culture began to take shape at the workshops held by the museums of Caracas, workshops in which he participated as a teenager, and it was solidified when he got to the university of architecture. After his studies, he specialized in sculpture, engraving, wax casting, and making jewelry. His varied training in different techniques and his continued experimentation have allowed him to develop a rich and original dialog that has nothing to do with conventionalism. In addition to paint, Balliache uses materials he finds on the street (string, iron, sticks) and in nature, giving them primitive, almost tribal, forms.
The artist also works with ceramics, creating organic sculptures that contrast with the sculpture legacy of the Basque Country. Maybe it’s because of that –because of the originality and draw of his work– that San Sebastian has treated him so well: he has displayed his work on numerous occasions in the Ekain Gallery, and the Tabakalera Center for Contemporary Culture organized a solo exhibition for him in 2017.
The artistic universe created by Balliache is much more exuberant and richer than the material world surrounding it. Its imaginary construct is a mixture of experiences and knowledge that the painter transfers, thanks to his talent, to the canvas. It’s an aggressive, expressionistic, and powerful language. The viewer’s prerogative is to have the chance to approach that universe through Balliache’s art.
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