international painting annual 1 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Emil Bakalli
Briarwood, New York


pages 47-48


The aim of my work is to penetrate into the very condition that I am trapped in, into the very rift and situation that I am situated in my milieu or in the mode of how I experience and perceive the Things that make up my environment. I abstract and distill my experience as being a part of a condition, of a lively plexus, and of spontaneities or occurrences in the reality-of-being-there. I am a part of this reality and yet, I am not fully it; i.e., I am still I as long as I am the wondering and gazing eye.

The inspirational sources of my visual information are people and continuously changing sequences–instances emerging and dissolving from the public surroundings of a city life like New York (like my daily subway-ride with its colorful wave of overlapping and altering images), where instantaneous forms dissipate; thus, leaving behind tensions and the mere traces of events as they happen. The crowd is a walking silhouette and yet it becomes the flesh of my colors and the contour of my lines; its vitality emerges in my paintings so as to render the invisible rhythms visible. But, even more so, my eye captures and isolates the ubiquitous temper of crowds‚ steps amidst the paths of New York City, through which my work evolves and where my thoughts and experiences find a dynamic familiarity of form and line:  this is the ground of my painting's surface.  In other words, my artistic rupture takes place in a locality that is enveloped in the presence of a condition. It is the very core of this condition-experience-involvement that my art has evolved and engaged itself as a form; also, let me say, my art is the manifestation of this milieu of technological shattering speed–of vibrancy and force, of sensation, of simultaneously emerging and dissolving realities that pass me by and yet are connatural or built-in-me.

Another way to put it is that my painterly and performative action of self-affirmation springs from a sober condition of an ecstatic joy of my visual breath. I capture the disclosed and concealed moments of things as they appear to my kinetic eye–this is the raw event of exterior forces (i.e. a condition internalized and then materialized into and onto my worldly presence).

In short, my paintings are present and have a presence. There is an animation of colors and lines where forms emerge and diverge, while creating various spasms and sensations. My paintings smell of their oily surface; they are dry and soft, opaque and transparent. They are bold and visceral and lost in disclosure and concealed in forms. The surface is palpable or thick, dark diminutive and murky, bright shiny colors, muddy light, glassy and matt. The dry and the wet linen drips, it ripples, and it undulates; it swirls with curvilinear motions. The violent and the intense activity of the swoosh brush is smashed delicately while dancing schizophrenically–it screams forcefully in space revolving for attention.



born: 1975, Elbasani, Albania


Parsons The New School For Design, New York, NY, MFA, 2009
Hunter College, CUNY, New York, NY, BA, 2006
Onufri Lyceum of Fine Arts, Elbasani, Albania, High School, 1993

selected awards/honors

Diploma of Excellence and Honorable Ward, Medial 3 Art Biennial, London, 2010
Ward of Distinction, Medial 3 Art Biennial, London, 2010
Outstanding Service in Fine Arts, LaGuardia C. College, New York, 2004
Academic Achievement in Fine Arts, LaGuardia C. College, New York, 2004

selected publications

Tricycle Magazine: The Buddhist Review, New York, NY, 2010
Creative GENIUS:  Masters of Today Press, London & New York,  2010
Direct Art:  Volume 8,  Paul Winslow, New York, 2003
Poughkeepsie Journal:  Direction 02,  Nicolle Edwards, New York, 2002

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Simones' Gallery: Emil Bakalli & Lawrence Finney, Pelham, New York,  2003
Savacou Gallery: Emil Bakalli's New Drawings, NY, New York, 2003
Piraeus Dimotikon Art Gallery: Emil Bakalli's Solo Exhibition, Athens, Greece, 1998

selected group shows

NARS Foundation Gallery: Brooklyn, New York, 2010
Pulse Art Fair:  New York, NY, 2009
The Kitchen Gallery: New York, NY , 2009 Amsterdam Whitney Gallery: New York, NY, 2003

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