Ballweg’s paintings present a series of characters that simultaneously embody human and animal attributes. In these works, anthropomorphism becomes a pictorial strategy to visualize the internal tension between our human yearnings for virtue and the ridiculous, putrid, and comedic nature of life.
Ballweg’s figure-forms reference archetypes of the collective unconscious including the devil, hero and the trickster. These subjects are embedded in a psychically charged space that provides a complex and evolving context for portrayed figures. Ballweg uses deceptively simple language and techniques to complex ends. Full-scale stencils allow refinement of the initial composition, and are used to create edges between varied moments of paint handling. The end result values dissonance as much as harmony, with paint flicked, brushed, ragged and poured across the canvas. Hallucinogenic clouds of color, tinted stains and boldly mopped areas of saturated paint are applied and adjusted until a visual singularity is found.
Ballweg’s paintings often have an optical vibration or depict a figure seemingly in trance. The artist seeks to disarm the viewer as he juxtaposes the immediate and tactile with the diffuse and ethereal. Captain Beefheart, stoner metal, and improvisational jazz come to mind as Ballweg seeks to enrapture the viewer.