2012 MSAA Art Showcase Entrants
Leo Balzano – Nashua, NH
I am a 67 year old male with Secondary Progressive MS. I have been making handmade paper for over 20 years and enjoy the hands-on technique. It is difficult to explain how I compose a piece. I just use what excites me (Paper and remnants) and know when I am done. I like having all of my materials and processes intermingled in my studio.
The result of this kind of thinking has given me a greater freedom to work in a way that allows me to approach it without an outline, without preconceived notions of where I’ll go, or how I’ll get there. I let intuition and the joy of expression guide me. Often my pieces suggest their own ending. Most have no realism about them. Rather they are internalized, abstract expressions whose origins I do not pretend to understand The contemporary works that result lend themselves to differing interpretations and emotions. Viewers often see in them things I have not consciously intended. Yet there are no innate messages. It has also led to the construction of works that incorporate handmade paper, color and found objects.
My work is often related in theme to aspects of memory, family history, spirituality, gender, time and space. While the specific occasions of memory are often of a personal nature, the themes and imagery have a universal appeal. My goal in making art is to explore process while allowing intuition to have its say. Color, too, gives added connotations to the works.
I find I need the tension that exists between process and intuition in order to produce works that represents my personal integrity and tends to take my mind off my physical condition.
My progressing MS has limited me to work experimenting with manipulating original photographs. I enjoy layering various processes that result in varying concepts.