Jules de Balincourt's reputation as one of New York's fastest rising art stars has been founded upon a body of work that mines the intersection of his personal history with the politics of industrial alienation. Whether he is representing aspects of American history or purely imaginative scenarios, de Balincourt's extraordinary paintings are instilled with the indelible effects of emigrating as a child from France to California at the height of the conservative Reagan era. It was during this process of assimilating himself into a new country that he encountered the shattered ideals of the hippie era and developed a deep mistrust of authority. As a consequence, de Balincourt's work often explores the contradictory facets of the United States' socioeconomic structures. Yet the Brooklyn based painter has increasingly distanced himself from overt statements on America's political landscape following an extended stay in Berlin in 2005. This period encouraged him to address collective fears and desires, as well as his own sense of displacement. In keeping with de Balincourt's often ruefully ironic view of our current cultural climate, Internal Renovations appears to take a playful poke at the illusion of autonomy in society by rendering an otherwise self-contained city subject to the forces of an omnipotent controller. The distinctive retro-futuristic feel of de Balincourt's faux-naïve aesthetics complements the vaguely sinister undertone of this vast diptych, creating enigmatic narrative that leads the viewer into a story of a modern dystopia.
Executed in 2006, de Balincourt's panoramic Internal Renovations takes its cue from model train enthusiasts, whose mania for detail has been replicated in this depiction of a miniature continental landscape. This postcard-pretty micro-world, replete with gabled buildings, picturesque peaks and high-speed Euro-trains, has been placed within a vitrine and wired up to dials whose electrics are clearly under repair, thereby highlighting the fact that its functionality is dependant on an overarching super power. Whether cast as a twee interactive museum display designed to preserve a nostalgic image of Europe or the plaything of an evil mastermind, this model town represents a world under surveillance, with the strident red colouring of the surrounding 'control room' evoking a sense of imminent danger.
Further examples of de Balincourt's unique take on the current state of civilization can be found in public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.