Videowatercolors — Overview

As with other works that Balth made since the late 1960s, his most recent series of Videowatercolors (2000-2019) engage in a poetic exploration of light and perception by studying the ever-shifting properties of light—its reflections and refractions, tints and colors, movements and rhythms.

The term Videowatercolors invokes the unlikely blending of two mediums of distinct properties.

Balth explores the effects of the unceasing flow of pixels that constitute digital video capture on silk-barite or velvety watercolor paper. In more recent works, he works on harder surfaces, with the image sandwiched between an aluminum plate and a thin layer of epoxy that has been matte-polished to such perfection that it attains the sfumato softness of tufted paper.

Two or more images, ‘video-grabbed’ from visual reality yet altered in appearance through unexpected tilts and perspectives, combine to make a new whole that hovers between reality and abstraction. The resulting compound work, wondrously simple yet ingenuous, prompts aesthetic and ethical questions about the ways in which we see and understand the increasingly complex world around us.