1966, France ; lives and works in Paris
Jean Marc Ballée is a graphic artist. His approach to graphic art is hallmarked by the manipulation and articulation of visual codes taken from popular culture, design and architecture. Given the task of coming up with the visual identity for these 6th Ateliers de Rennes – Contemporary Art Biennale, J.M. Ballée has constructed a powerful system marked by these gestural abstractions tossed into the social and urban space like so many expressions, cries and silences. Well removed from the fixed logotype image, the project is part of a process-based logic, akin to a moving grammar, which is forever shifting and thus avoids the exhaustion created by the redundancy of the visual. In the posters, in this visitor’s guide, on a digital animation or a label, the conjugations of moods inform the classic graphic grid to construct the experience. They stealthily fill the interstices and cracks of the established systems.
At Lendroit éditions, THUD OOMPH comes across like the flipside of the graphic communication developed in the city for the Biennale. What J.M. Ballée presents there is its deregulated B-side as well as its hearth. In a renewed interplay between inking and language, lettering bursts out laughing in a jargon straight out of Howard the Duck (1976) comics. From the roof, a vivid oath proffered by the duck can be heard: “FROG DEATH”. It would seem that dark bellows have got the better of the poor frog’s “WHAK WHAK”.
En coproduction avec /co-produced by Lendroit éditions
Avec le soutien de / with the support of Art & Caractère
THUD OOOMPH, 2018
Courtesy of the artist