Palmetto Bay resident Jorge Ballará, a multi-disciplinary artist working in a variety of media such as oils, pastels, acrylics and three-dimensional sculpture, is having a month-long exhibit at the Roberto Russell Gallery at Ocean Sotheby’s, 81550 Overseas Highway, Islamorada.
Ballará, a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, worked for major advertising companies in New York and Chicago for many years as art director before focusing his talents to fine art.
He has developed a unique art form he has labeled “JOBA.” It consists of elaborate hand painted graphic designs reminiscent of ancient symbols of past civilizations incorporated onto three-dimensional papier maché bodycasts and other forms.
Ballará is known for his architectural-based paintings and wire and tin sculptures. These metal sculptures take various forms that include table-top busts of famous icons. Included in the collection are Marilyn Monroe, Salvador Dalí, Mona Lisa, and Frida Kahlo. His sculptures have a whimsical, jewel-like property that are intricate, yet delightful.
Metal also has taken him into mobiles incorporating the techniques created by master builder Alexander Calder. Unique to his work are a series of oil and mixed media on canvas paintings that feature elements of famous building’s architecture in U.S. cities and states and turned them into highly stylized women shoes.
For example, the New York City Shoe features the top of the Empire State building as the heel. The Miami Shoe uses motifs found on the famous Art Deco designs of its buildings. Others include the Chrysler Building in New York, the Transamerica building in San Francisco, the John Hancock Building in Chicago and the Texas boot shoe.
Oil paintings include a Latina Mona Lisa dressed in an iconic dress with tropical scenery as the background, made for celebrating the anniversary of the original Mona Lisa’s recovery in France.
Some portraits incorporate the JOBA designs as elements within the paintings. Architectural landscape paintings in pastel and oil use surprising elements like a spiraling highway supported by wires from the skyscrapers and a busy highway “squeezing” a famous building.
Ballará has shown his artwork at galleries and shows throughout South Florida: MiArte of Coral Gables, Coral Gables Museum, Miami Beach Jewish Museum, and Mano Fine Art Project Space in the Bird Road Art District. In addition he’s contributed his work to the Miami Badges of Courage Foundation which provides support for women suffering from breast cancer and the Miami Easter Seals.
You can view some of his work on Facebook, Instagram (ballaraart) or on his website www.ballaraart.com.