By Laura-Anne Rowell
Originally hailing from Detroit, Michigan, local artist Lee Balan moved to southern California in the early 1960s. A true hippie who was also perhaps influenced by taking LSD during the peace and love movement, Lee hopes purveyors of his work will question for theirselves; “Who am I?” “Where am I from?” and “Where am I going?.”
He states, “Some of my work is a warning about the misuse of modern technology. I want to inspire people to think for themselves and never stop asking questions. No one should be misled by simple formulas – or brainwashed by advertisements that push each of us to be beautiful, rich, and subservient to the established norms. I hope my work inspires people to think and not just follow the herd.”
Drawing inspiration from life while trying to understand the phenomenon of consciousness, Balan says he creates what he does due to a compulsion. He has always had a need to make sense of the world around him. “It’s as if I’m an alien stuck on this planet trying to decipher what I see and experience.”
Being a multi artist allows Balan to express himself and his reflection of the world in several different mediums including; paint, assemblage, digital art, spoken word and installation. And his list of influences are just as diverse as the man himself, sighting artist Francis Bacon to writer William Burroughs, Balan has an attraction for beauty in the disturbed side of art. Or maybe he just believes in the lives and styles of what is hailed as a true artist, “Nothing is more important or more fulfilling than the creative process. Do whatever it takes to support yourself so that you can do the work of creating your art.”
Having won an award at the Palm Springs Art Museum in 2007 as part of a national juried exhibition, Balan has been shown in a slew of galleries throughout Southern California including local galleries Exposure, M-Modern and Desert Pride Center in Palm Springs as well as the Woods Gallery in Joshua Tree. His next showing will be with his good friend, Peggy Vermeer, on September 15 at the Lifework Gallery in Palm Springs.
You can find out more information about Lee Balan at http://leebalanarts.wordpress.com/.
By Laura-Anne Rowell