Biography of Aldo Balding

Aldo Balding’s paintings are cinematic in scope and narrative in approach, casting the viewer in the role of a detached observer. Whilst the ‘conversation’ pieces encompass shared experiences the single figure works are often more provocative, contemplative and challenging. Although he keeps the era of his pictures timeless he does profess to a weakness for classic clothes on both men and women to emphasise their individual masculinity and femininity.

Aldo was born in Portsmouth and studied at the Southampton College Faculty of Design. After leaving with a diploma in illustration he worked for the next fifteen years or so as a freelance illustrator and portrait painter producing illustrations for Punch, the Sunday Times and an array of advertising agencies. Portrait commissions included the Miss Pears winner in 1996 and his work was selected for the BP Awards at the National Portrait Gallery and shown at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.

Recent portraits have included golfers Ernie Els and Paul Casey, golf commentator Peter Alliss and one of his most challenging subjects to date - MND sufferer Sarah Ezekiel,‘an amazing woman dealing with a debilitating illness’

Shape and form are as important to Aldo as the people and places he paints and many of his pictures have been influenced by the patterns created by the body language he sees around him. The way a person holds their body can say far more about their feelings and intentions than their words and this inspires him to catch the mood of the moment.

His knowledge of anatomy enables him to paint a realistic figure from an idea in his head without resorting to models, as he often has an image in his mind’s eye for some time before he paints it. These ideas can either be purely imaginative or from life, suggested by a place, an event or a person. The quality of his draughtsmanship is essential to him as is the combination of colours and tones in the painting. As he applies paint to canvas the character of his subjects develops and an imaginary sequence of events unfolds before him, all of which he endeavours to bring to life.

Although Aldo is painter restless with his work there is a growing maturity in his virtuoso brushwork, reminiscent of some of the great painters of the early 20th century, particularly those capturing ‘La Belle Epoch’ of European social society. These noisy atmospheric pictures contrast dramatically with some of the quieter works but above all every painting captures the mood of the moment perfectly, rewarding the viewer’s patient consideration with a momentary insight into the lives of others.

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