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  • I like the idea of placing the viewer at these crossroads of painting, in which one's emotive response hovers between rational realism or figuration, on the one hand, and the abstract subconscious or primitive on the other.” — Jules de Balincourt

    French-American artist Jules de Balincourt speaks to the complex, ever-changing physical and psychological landscape of modern life. Deceptively cheerful, his brightly-coloured, post-Pop painterly language deftly challenges the prevailing structures of power, influence and identity in our globalised world.


    Dance Dance Revolution depicts a restless world in form and content, with faces and figures layered atop each other. The painting’s name derives from a pioneering music video game series first introduced in Japan in 1998, which became an ubiquitous presence in gaming arcades around the world during its heyday. Players standing on a dance platform are directed to hit coloured arrows laid out in a cross as the music and visual cues accelerate wildly.




    Dance Dance Revolution Best Hits for PlayStation


    But the work’s lighthearted title in fact belies a weighty subject: the 2010 wave of pro-democracy protests and uprisings that took swept through the Middle East and North Africa, known as the Arab Spring. Loosely based on images de Balincourt encountered in the press of happenings in Libya and Egypt, the painting vacillates between joy, surprise and fear with unsettling, dream-like distortions and unexpected shifts in scale engendering an enduring sense of eeriness and imbalance.

    “Often in the pictures one couldn't tell whether the individuals were celebrating the burgeoning democracy or running from the forces of oppression. Essentially this is how all my paintings operate—are the people on the boat escaping or enjoying a leisurely ride? Are the people in the rooftop painting dancing or seeking refuge from a tsunami or flood? Is the stadium painting of a concert or an emergency relief center like during Hurricane Katrina? I'm interested in that ambiguity.” — Jules de Balincourt

    Detail of the present lot


    Jules de Balincourt’s paintings convey what he describes as ‘less of a sociological study, and more of an intuitive psychological interpretation’ i. Utilising various techniques – including stencilling, masking, abrading and spray painting –  de Balincourt’s seamless vision at first sight transforms upon closer inspection into a disjointed yet often uplifting narrative that reflects a world in flux.


    De Balincourt is represented by Pace Gallery, Victoria Miro and Thaddaeus Ropac. The artist has previously been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; amongst others. His work can be found in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada; the Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy; and other institutions around the world.



    i Yasha Wallin, ‘Painting the World: Q+A With Jules de Balincourt’, Art in America, 17 June 2011, online

    • Provenance

      Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Paris, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Worlds Together, Worlds Apart, 8 June - 2 July 2011


Dance Dance Revolution

signed, titled and dated 'Jules de Balincourt "Dance Dance Revolution" 2011' on the reverse
oil on panel
218.4 x 243.8 cm. (85 7/8 x 95 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2011.

Full Cataloguing

HK$450,000 - 650,000 

Sold for HK$604,800

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction

Hong Kong Auction 29 November 2021