Mary Balda is a contemporary artist residing in Ojai, California. Her work is included in many private collections throughout the United States, Canada, and Germany. She may also be viewed in issue 72 of New American Paintings; a highly renowned journal of emerging artists. Her work speaks of honest moments through the investigation of spacial relationships, intersecting patterns, invented rhythms, and layered landscapes. There is often an esoteric commentary on findings in her environment. Treated with a light hearted sophistication and acute attention to detail, Balda’s work not only seeks to catch your eye with its alluring edifice, but also to remind you of the importance of nostalgia and whimsy.
My work explores the role of anonymous observation. I am intrigued by body language and the energy suggested by a simple posture. Captured during brief and candid moments, characters depicted in my own community are glorified through an exploration of their outward appearance, style of dress or unique mannerisms. This includes people I regularly see on the street, at bus stops, shopping, walking home, etc. I create a narrative where these strangers are transformed into the protagonist of their own story. These individuals are often completely unaware of my presence and documentation of them. This reinforces my role as an “anonymous observer”, allowing me to have complete freedom to make the changes necessary to the finished piece. Through the use of bright and unexpected color palettes I evoke the dreamy mood of an alternate reality, grounded by its imagery; yet delicately teetering on the edge of both the familiar and the unknown.