Raul Balai a.k.a. el bastardo, is an Amsterdam based artist (1980).
Balai is fascinated by the way our exploitative state of mind frames the shape of the world. How this is present in the everyday and the everywhere, and the way the media and academia repeat and portray our world as part of the western ‘situation’, its peoples bravado and its countries heroism.
He uses a number of different styles, genres, to expose and explore what remains at stake within the history of diversities. While reworking these subjects in a lighthearted ‘nod and a wink’ manner, underneath this strategy are serious concerns. By doing so he is ensuring a chatter of ideas and ideals, providing a constant ebb and flow for the context to resonate with the viewer. This attitude has a distinctive place in his approach. Not only as an artist or curator, but also in his practice as an exhibition maker and designer.
He is an artist who cannot be relegated to one style, one genre, one anything. His work is not characterized by a specific shape or material. He is looking at each topic and story and finds appropriate form. Constantly refining his visual and conceptual vocabulary that emerges through points of intersection between painting, installations, sculptures, graffiti, (graphic) design, illustration, video and photography.
In recent years Balai has exhibited at Countour Biennale – Mechelen, Belgium / Biennale Dak’Art – Senegal / M HKA – Antwerpen, Belgium / Galleri Image- Aarhus, Denmark / NEST – The Hague, The Netherlands / WM Gallery – Amsterdam, The Netherlands / The Black Archives – Amsterdam, The Netherlands / The Rembrandt Museum – Amsterdam, The Netherlands / a.o.