Residency November 2019
“Inaugural artist-in-residence, at Pernice is Dennis Balk. Balk is known for a conceptually rigorous
but visually rich work that integrates a broad knowledge of science, culture and place. His interest
in all media paired with his understanding of the history of art makes him an optimal visitor to the
historic Sicilian property, not to mention his track record of professional engagements that range
from New York to Bahrain and Bangkok. “
Dr. Cornelia Lauf
Growed up in Kansas in 1950s and during His entire childhood He was very excited by what visual culture could produce.
He had the Milton\Glaser\Dylan poster on His wall for several year.
At California Institute of the Arts He studied with the first generation Conceptual Artists and this did have an impact on Him, but not in the way that most would expect. He wasn’t driven to produce significant gallery works but rather He was keen to study how the whole operation of culture makes manifest a piece of art that assumes the role of representing the who-we-are-now attitude wich culture seamlessly performs.
In New York He had the fortune to be included in the American Fine Arts group wich helped Him to further all His goals as an artist. After staging a few theater works in the downtown theater scene He was drawn into the politics of clashing cultures. He moved to the Middle East and pursued work there, moving to several key Countries exhibiting work and teaching college students. Later He worked in Bangkok where He designed and managed a University degree at an International University, He did this for a decade. During the entire time in Bangkok He established a fashion brand named Splinter Group wich was a blend of His gallery/studio work and the graphics of clothing and merchandise. Producing books and magazines has been a constant occupation and source of inspiration in His life.
Currently, switched in a new decade, He is in theU.S.A. in Richmond Virginia, where He is working on a large chaptered work wich involves a theater staging, several books and museum scale visuals.
“My experience as part of the Pernice Residency Program was a very productive time and place
for a particular body of visuals art. The surrounding countryside, the Sicilian countryside was a
perfect thematic environment for the work I wanted to further pursue. Many years earlier I had
been working up the conceit of a visual theme of raw, original visual material, graphic gestures
which would come from a soulful place with true authenticity, disengaged from the social
expectations of visual art or at least try to distance myself from the anticipation of reception.
Drawing from the resources of the Sicilian country side as well as the visual dynamism of Palermo I
was able to reengage in the visuals I had started all that time ago. The family and the people who
offered and managed my Residency time were in constant support of what I was trying to
accomplish there which is quite unique in this current day. That support allowed a real and
particular focus which stays with me still.”