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Artist Monthly From the Editors

October Artist – Justin Balleza

Randi Turkin October 18, 2018

Justin Balleza is our selected artist for October! ArtProfiler’s Artist Monthly highlights one artist per month for exceptional work in his or her chosen medium.

Justin was born in Houston, Texas, in 1987. He was always an avid drawer. He acquired a BFA in Contemporary Studio Art at The University of Texas at Austin in 2009 and continued later in Florence, Italy, at the Atelier Charles Cecil Studios where he spent over three years learning and teaching the Sight-size method of portraiture. Justin has also instructed American and European schools of study-abroad students and is now teaching Sight-size method at Atelier Dojo in Austin.

justin balleza

Justin Balleza, Kelli, Charcoal & White Chalk on Tan Paper, 18″x24″

Artist Statement

From an early age I have been interested in figurative lines, especially the gestures and contours of the human form. After many years of practice I am currently developing my own approach to portraiture using Sight-size training as a foundation with an emphasis on drawing from life before painting.

The primary focus of my work in portraiture is the spirit of the sitter. We all have a common thread, and also unique characteristics that make us individuals. In my training I was taught to see shapes of light and shadow to quickly lock in the likeness of a model and, in developing this idea in my own practice, I have learned that each person has their own energy that comes through beyond just a visual copy. It can be difficult to capture this energy with just shapes alone. I am finding that a balance between structure and gesture can create a lively synthesis of a person’s essence, expressing change, movement and mental/emotional states of being. In an age of synthetics, augmented reality and artificial intelligence, my sense is that the hand made spiritual objects that have always set us apart from the rest of the natural world can best serve us now by reconnecting us to our ancestral roots on earth. My mission is to help guide others on their own path of discovering this human potential to see and articulate our experience of life.

rasta

Justin Balleza, (Rasta Guy), Marco, Charcoal on Roma Paper, 18″x22″, 2013

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