Janet Balbarona's Rendered Mind Games (Lot 2473) is an evocative example of how people create idealised versions of the ones they love in their heads. The nebulous relationship between a man and a woman is framed within an oval diptych composed of mirroring twin portaits, uncanny in their resemblance.
Rendered in similar color palettes, the paired panels contains a myriad of recurring elements: the blue-and-white gingham fabric of his shirt wraps around her shoulders like a shawl, the same white amulet hangs from both their necks, cigarettes dangle from their fingers, a similarly hued blush defines their cheeks.
Like an amorphous fantasy woven from memories and invented moments, Balbarona's images merge and shift until a story emerges from the details. A scarlet macaw, brilliant wings unfurled in one panel, is resurrected as a the rich ornaments billowing from the girl's head, and blue and red feather falling out of the frame in a swipe of the artist's brush. Wistful and forlorn, the star-crossed lovers, each made in the image of the other, appear to be caught in stasis, awaiting their happy ending.
Balbarona, very much an artist of the present, is a teller of open-ended tales and a keen observer of the human condition. In Rendered Mind Games, she conveys the pensive regret of someone thinking about the one that got away.