If Visiting from the Swiss Art Expo, View Me First!
Genie Balantac’s medium is the ephemera of everyday life. Creating dialectical images from ‘happy’ accidental words of manufactured fortunes and advertising slogans, merged with resuscitated objects, she creates a taut line between reality and dreams, a magical doorway into worlds fashioned from the crumpled and castoff. A self-taught artist, Genie’s work is both critical yet enchanting, and most significantly, belongs to the present tense: she uses the urban vernacular from the paper trail we carelessly leave like breadcrumbs in a forest: napkins, forgotten family photographs, gum wrappers and the Technicolor ads of fashion magazines; from this she presents notions of feminine beauty, race and identification mixed with nostalgic almost archaic objects she finds on excavations through obscure shops and rummage sales. Yet even as certain pieces recall the careful poetic assemblages of Joseph Cornell, it is Ms. Balantac’s contemporaneity that makes her work so accessible. And her pointed wonder at popular cultures presuppositions, a provocative wonder that however never discounts the possibility for redemption. Genie Balantac’s ability to move the mind forward perhaps owes in part to her experience as a teacher. Running a homework center in Sacramento’s Del Paso Heights, she worked with youth from ages 7-12. And kids love her, because she brings the same enthusiasm that infuses her art to the classroom. From the same neighborhood that saw the youth of social critic Cornell West, Ms. Balantac’s rich threads of ephemeral minutia breathe like the impasto on a canvas that is happening in real time, a canvas fashioned for us to transcribe the words and images of an Alice-in-Wonderland with a critical edge.
Mary Wepler-Selear, MA, Art History
Lacock Village, UK
I was initially impressed with Genie’s artistic enthusiasm and ability to communication feelings and emotions through her artistic skills in a professional way. Genie consistently demonstrates in her work, all of the qualities of artistic excellence and more. Genie is reliable, dedicated and eternally upbeat. Her ability in the art of photography is unparalleled.
Marc G. Doutherd, Artist
Looking back at my Life, Photography has always been my World. The Camera is the Narration to my Life, how I make sense of the Minutiae, how I define who I am. From that Moment of perception, to framing the shot in the viewfinder, to that feeling of pressing the Shutter down and hearing that sound, it’s Bliss.