BALOV, Jovan

Jovan Balov, born 1961 in Skopje, has left former Yugoslavia in the eighties for Berlin. He has been living here for over 20 years, except for a while in the Netherlands and other places. He is a Macedonian citizen and has read archaeology besides arts at university.

He presents his most recent paintings at the centre, portraits, acrylic on canvas. During the past two years, Balov has been widening his spectrum while focusing on painting. He transfers the analyses of his social environment onto canvas in the shape of hyperrealistic portraits, using acrylic. This succeeds the past few years when he used painting, video, installation - interpreted and synthesised things using his artistic skills and means.

Soon he wrestled free of Northern American idols of Hyperrealism such as Chuck Close, the photo realist. His art focuses more on the painter’s means to create character studies rather than exaggerated reality. This is because he believes a portrait should, through the depiction of physical likeness, beyond human face expression, express the spirit and personality of the model.

Thus, his development starts with a portrait of his daughter Anna Marija, set in monochrome colours. The following portraits of his daughters Paula and Ena, as well as a small picture of a friend’s daughter, Ena Kamenkovic, show a playfulness between brown and Ochre, Siena and other earthy hues. His work on perspective continues in the portraits of his parents and above all, of his wife Doroteja, while disconnecting any link to Icon painting, which is well known to him from his Macedonian tradition.

He plays with different views, like in his mother’s portrait and in his self portraits, mirroring effects and so on. He drives the play with colours on, as well as the plasticity, through exact use of perspective, in his two artists’ portraits of the 18th century Prussian sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch and the contemporary Berlin painter Wolfgang Petrick, using red for Petrick and yellow for Rauch to complete the monochromy. On top of this, he puts both painters’ names in versalia at the top edge (sic!) of each painting, as if to quote Hans Holbein the younger, who has created countless noblemen’s portraits in renaissance London.

After using pictures of living people that he took himself as models for his paintings, he now uses the classic cast of a sculpture, combined with his own eyes. Thus, the amorph material comes to life, even though the hair structure oviously point to the dead matter of a sculpture. Jovan Balov intends to push this on with a series of portraits of Johann Gottfried Schadow, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Adolph Menzel, Johann Friedrich Drake and August Kiss. Of course, his portrait series is to be continued.

For me, Jovan Balov’s portraits aren’t realistic or naturalistic copies, but they present this artist’s principle to unveil the analytically caused exaggeration of reality below the surface. His hyperrealism shows most clearly in the portraits, because he breathes life into them through his painting techniques, beyond all the inspiration photos, sculptures etc. could give him.

Berlin, May 2010
Rolf Külz-Mackenzie
(English Translation: Petra Reinhardt)

Jovan Balov
e-mail: moc.oohay|volabj#moc.oohay|volabj
Handy: +49 176 99045693
Fon: + 49 30 23883815

1961 - Born in Skopje (Republic of Macedonia), November 6
1981 - 84 Faculty for History of Art and Archeology, University “Cyril and Methodius” Skopje, Macedonia:
1983 - 87 Faculty of Fine Arts, Painting, University of “St. Cyril and Methodius”, Skopje, Graduated;
2001 - working with the cultural program of the Prima Centar - Skopje (Center for applied knowledge and creative development), program assistant;
2004 - working with the cultural program of the Prima Center Berlin
2005 - 07 working with the cultural program of the Kolonie Wedding e.V. Berlin
2007 - Award "Rigas Charta" in Athen, Greece

Exhibitions (selected):

2010 - Zagreb, Croatia, Open University Sesvete, , Solo Video Exhibition
- Delft, Nethrland, „WAD“ World Art Delft Organization
- Berlin, Kolonie Wedding, Europeans Month of Photography
- Paderborner, Germany, Paderborner Kunstverein e.V.
- Berlin, Prima Center Berlin, “Via Emigration 2”
- Berlin, Present Gallery InteriorDAsein, solo exhibitions
- Berlin, Gallery GAD, Weddinger Realisten
- Jerusalem, Israel, Musrara mix 10, a Mmulti-dimensional international festival
- Mühlhausen, Germany, Bach-Kirche Divi Blasii Mühlhausen, Untermarkt, 8. art20
- Gornji Milanovac, Serbian, “10. International Biennale of Miniatures”
- Berlin, Kunstgut, Video screening
- Novi Sad, Serbia, Black Haus 13, Video screening
2009 - Berlin, Lionpalais, Fondation Starke, Winter Saloon
- Skopje, Macedonia, Museum of Contemporary art Skopje, Synaesthesia
- Vienna, Austria, Gallery PALAIS PORCIA, Synesthesia
- Skopje, Macedonia, Museum of Contemporary art Skopje, "Art from Berlin"
- Berlin, ConcentArt e.V., "Border"
- Krakow, Poland, Teatr dla Was
- Hameenlinna, Finland, Art Gallery Ripustus, "About WATER"
- Somerville, USA, the Nave Gallery, "Waterfall"
2008 - Berlin, Atelier Neue Renaissance, “Malerei in Berlin”
- Brington, UK, Victoria Melody Phoenix Arts Association, Videoart Now Festival
- Bitola, Macedonia, Cultural center "Magaza", "Attitude” video art festival
- Bochum, Deutschland, Stanzwerk, “European Artists Foundation”
- Osnabrück, Deutschland, Produzentengalerie Petra Höcker, 5°ART20
- Stuttgart, IFA Galerie, „Works in Progress“
- Berlin, Gallery GdK, „Strictly Berlin 08“
- Beijing, China, Today Art Museum
- Berlin, Prima Center Berlin, „Via Emigratia“
- Berlin, IFA Galerie, “Schöne neue Welt“
- Gornji Milanovac, Serbian, “9. International Biennale of Miniatures”
2007 - Skopje, Macedonia, Museum of Contemporary art, “Collection”
- Ljubljana, Slovenia, Museum of the city of Ljubljana, „Papir - Paperwork“
- Berlin, IFA gallery, „Myths of the Everyday Life “, video presentation
- Przemysl, Poland, Galeria Sztuki Wspolczesnej w Przemyslu, "3°art20";
- Vatikan, Italy, Muzeo Nazionale, "Pontificia Consilla";
- Bitola, Macedonia, Cultural center "Magaza", "Attitude” video art festival
- Berlin, Gallery GDK, "Strictly Berlin 007"
- Leoben, Austria, Startgalerie Georg Brandner, "Art 20"
- Kendlimajor, Hungary, Művészeti Academy, "Art 20"
- New York, USA, Gallery MC, solo exhibition
2006 - Berlin, Gallery im Turm, "Altar - Eck"
- Novi Sad, Serbia, “Video Medeja”, Video art Festival
- Amsterdam, Holland, The One Minute Video art Festival, Tom Foundation
- Bizen, Belgien, Alde Biesen, "Sehnsucht Inc."
- Bitola, Macedonia, 27. FESTIVAL "MANAKI BROTHERS", Cultural center "Magaza"
- Novi Sad, Serbia, Art salon KCNS, solo exhibition
- Heidelberg, Germany, ARTIST MIGRATION BERLIN, Heidelberger Kunstverein
- Skopje, Macedonia, EASY TRANSPORT, museum of Contemporary art Skopje
- Berlin, "Fremdkörper", Kunstraum Kreuzberg - Bethanien
- Barcelona, Spain, "Berlintendenzen", La Capela
- Berlin, Gallery GdK, „Strictly Berlin“
- Krakow, Poland, Gallery „Pryzmat“, KONFRONTATIONEN
- Krakow, Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej “Solvay'',
2005 - Berlin, Lionpalais, Foundation Starke, Winter Salon
- Helsinky, Finnland, City gallery, "Situated Self"
- Prilep, Macedonia, Galerie Marko Cepenkov, “Meeting the Angel”, solo exhibition
- Moscow, Russian, “PUSTO” Video art Festival
- Skopje, Macedonia, Museum of the city of Skopje, “Alien body"
- Munich, Germany, White BOX, KULTFABRIK, “All about Berlin 3”
- Trnava, Slowakei, Center for contemporary art, Synagogue, "Alien body"
- Prag, Czech Republic, Universální prostor NoD, “Alien body"
- Belgrade, Serbia and Monte Negro, Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, "Situated Self"
2004 - Berlin, Lionpalais, Foundation Starke, Winter Salon
- Barcelona, Spain, LOOP' 04 - International video art fair and festival, & PCBerlin
- Munich, Germany, Kunstbunker Tumulka, "Paradies in Bunker"
- Berlin, Art Forum, Messe Berlin, Artfacts.London, videopresentation "Barbargenie"
- Berlin, Berliner Liste, Contemporary Art Fair, Artfacts.London & Prima Center Skopje/Berlin
- Tallinn, Estonia; 13TH Tallinn Print Triennial, Tallinn art hall, "Other Neighbourhood"
- Vilnius, Lithuania, Gallery INTRO, "Alien body"
- Nurnberg, Germany, Nurnberg art house, "The Promesed Land"
- Berlin, Balkan Black Box Festival, Gallery in the Nickelodeon, photography "Gipsy Lounge
- Skopje, Macedonia, Museum of Contemporary art Skopje, "Not in the sky & not on the earth"
- Moscow, Russian, NCCA-National Center for Contemporary Arts", "Alien body - confrontation"
- Rome, Italy, Transit Rom 2004, Foundation “Theater and art - Berlin“, video-photo-action
2003 - Skopje, Macedonia, MOCA Skopje, Conceptual Discourse on Macedonian Art Stage
- Petrozavodsk, Russian, 2nd triennial of visual arts "Otpecatki", City Exhibiting Hall
- Berlin, "Paradies 2003", Group exhibition in a bunker under Alexander Platz
- Krasnoyarsk, Russia, V - Krasnoyarsk International Biennale “Art of memory”;
- Berlin, “1. Acumens Church Days”, St. Cross Church, “Gipsy Lounge”, solo exhibition
- Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, MBA Center - American college, Photographs, solo exhibition
- Skopje, Macedonia, Museum of Contemporary Art, ”Foreign Visions”
- Rome, Italy, Foundation “Theater and art - Berlin“, “27.01.2003 Restitution”, space Tiburtina FS
- Berlin, Lionpalais, Foundation Starke,”Foreign Visions”
- Zagreb, Croatia, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Project “Motel Jezevo”
2002 - Melnik, Bulgaria, „International Poetry Evenings“, photography, solo exhibition
- Aachen, Germany, “5. Arts Round in Aachen - 2002”, Gallery Atelier 21, “Macedonian Art”
- Skopje, Macedonia, Museum of Contemporary Art, “Great Framing”
- Liverpool, UK, Liverpool Biennial, Gallery “Basement”, Project “The Good and the Bad”
- Bitola, Macedonia, City Gallery – Bitola, Digital print and photography, solo exhibitions
- Berlin, Gallery of Foundation “Theater and art - Berlin“,” Happy Valley”, photography
- Dresden, Germany, Museum “Dresdener Schloss”, 5. Summer Academy
- Thessalonica, Greece, State Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art of the Balkan Countries
2001 - Skopje, Macedonia, National Gallery Skopje, MULTILOG
- Skopje, Macedonia, Gallery “Mesto-360º”, Photography, solo exhibition
- Skopje, Macedonia, Museum of City of Skopje, “Meeting the Angel”, solo exhibition
- Prilep, Macedonia, Cultural Center, “Marko Cepenkov”, solo exhibition
- Dresden, Germany, Cultural Center, “Me in Berlin”, solo exhibition
2000 - Berlin, Gallery “AKUD,” “Eagles from Berlin”, solo exhibition
- Hanover, Germany, EXPO 2000, Exhibit of the Foundation for Children “Nelson Mandela”
- Skopje, Macedonia, Museum of Contemporary Art, “Multiple Choice”
- Berlin, Project of the Senate for Culture of Foreigners in Berlin, “Life Desire or Loss"
1999 - Berlin, Multimedia Centre “Aphelion”, “Berlin – Yellow, Red, Blue”
- Köln, Germany, Gallery “Deutsche Welle”, “Angel – The Peace Giver”;
1998 - Skopje, Macedonia, Museum of Skopje, “Berlin’s Eagles”
1997 - Berlin, IFA Gallery, “Macedonian Art - Parallels”

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