An Introduction

Ulrich de Balbian

Examples of the artist's latest work will be uploaded on this site from February 2012 onwards....

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See work by ULRICH at these international galleries and online


Since I can remember I realized that people are not on the same level of IQ, sensitivity and other qualities that form a human being. It is as if people are placed on different levels of a pyramid, with most of them on the first level. Someone can only grasp others on his/her level and some of those on levels underneath him. This is the case with the IQ of an individual as well as their level of sincerity, honesty, sensitivity, gentleness, kindness and all those values and attitudes (attitudinal types for each of those values) that together contribute to constitute a human being.
I attempted for all of my life to assist in the realization of the potential of everyone I came across, but gave up when I realized that human beings are satisfied with merely being that what society, others and themselves have turned them into - restricted intellectually, emotionally, socially, culturally, spiritually, etc etc. Thus I withdrew from social interaction even more. This applies to my art as well - I have little interest in participating in the art industry (of auctions, galleries, critics, reviewers, collectioners, viewers and others that live OFF art). Most viewers want a nice or pretty image, and to satisfy that they merely need to look at a flower, sunset, other people, etc.
I also realized, with a shock, that I do not paint to satisfy 'others' (critics, reviewers, gallerists, general viewers, etc), but that my  process of painting and the works resulting from that form part of a certain niche aspect of the discourse of painting. Painting, as I intentionally chose that genre of visual art, rather than any of the gimmicky ones such as installations, performance art, etc. I paint in and for a certain tradition in the discourse of painting - a tradition represented by painters such as Klee, Kandinsky, Richter, Monet, van Gogh, Hartung et al. These individuals did not attempt to work in an experimental manner, to shock, amaze or to please - they merely worked in a manner that they had no other choice or option to. Those 'great' or more serious painters questioned the norms, the rules, the questions and answers that constitute the interpersonal or intersubjective discourse and reality of (modern) western painting (in the way that the serious philosophers, scientists, poets, novelists, composers, etc questioned the intersubjective norms of their own discourses). They did not set out to be experimental, but merely worked in a manner with total integrity to satisfy their aesthetic ideals and vision.
They therefore worked for the discourse of (western) painting itself - for other serious painters that lived before them, for the handful of serious painters of their own time, and for the sake of the handful of serious painters of the future - those still to be born.

I replied to questions on and reprint my answers here as they might be useful for other serious painters who reflect on what they do and why they do it.

    • ward
    • 1  posts
    • What time and place would you most like to experience other than the one you are in now?
      •   Ulrich deBalbian
      • 12  posts
      • I'm already experiencing it - the eternity beyond space and time when someone is sensitive, sincere, honest, gentle and kind - and they don't even get paid or another reward for just being pleasantly human - like my 4 big American Pitbull dogs, always loving, so innocent like children - when being drawn out of oneself and the present place and time by a certain musical piece, a few words in a poem or novel, when beauty and truth meet in science, when being hypnotized by a painting. The eternity in every present moment when one, finally, in old age, reached inner peace...

      Favorite artists. Klee and Klee and Klee, and some of Miro, Gerhard Richter, some Picasso and Kandinsky - the problems they identified, encountered, wrestled with and explore in their own ways.

    Klee and Klee and Klee, and some of Miro, Gerhard Richter, some Picasso and Kandinsky - the problems they identified, encountered, wrestled with and explore in their own ways.

Subpages (1): Introduction continued