Vinod’s oil-on-canvas paintings stem as much from intuition as from cultural circumstance. With remarkable skill, he paints powerful, lush and emotive landscapes. It is impossible to miss the absurdity embedded within these panoramas — nude figures playing football or jogging, saints playing jazz, winged figures listening to a band. Add to that, an abundance of minutely detailed motifs — airplanes made of chicken coups, advertising billboards, a statue Mother Mary atop a tower, cowsheds with worshippers, a whale, a unicorn, an image of Lord Krishna.
Vinod’s heightened sense of colour underscores the freedom and feeling of euphoria in these paintings. Not hesitating to cite religion as an inspiration, nor shying away from critiquing the ideology of faith, Vinod Balak’s “Tomorrow’s Land” explores a collective contemporary subconscious, through a poetic register.
Born 1982 in Kerala, Balak attained a BFA in Painting from the Government College of Fine Arts, Thrissur, and MFA in Painting from the S.N. School of Fine Arts, Hyderabad. He held his first solo exhibition at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke in Mumbai in 2010. Group shows include “Games of Chance”, Sunaparanta, Goa (2020); “Nine Artists from Kerala”, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai (2018); “New Selections: South Asia” Thomas Erben Gallery, New York (2012); “Flying”, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2012); and “Roots in the Air, Branches Below – Modern and Contemporary Art from India”, San Jose Museum of Art, USA (2011). He lives and works in New Delhi.