Julien Friedler - Who is Jack Balance ?

The Christopher Henry Gallery is pleased to present its first solo exhibition of Julien Friedler curated by 
Gabrielle Bryers entitled « Who is Jack Balance? ». 
 
Covering two floors the exhibition is an introduction to Jack Balance and the World of Boz.  A Dante’s 
Inferno like quest through the art world, Friedler takes the viewer on an adventure through a parallel 
universe of life’s unanswered questions expressed through writing, painting, sculptures, happenings and 
conceptual projects. As uncertainty grips the current world mindset the artist endeavors to discover and 
interpret this unbalanced world as modern allegories. There is a spirituality in the imperfect world of 
Friedler: he helps us to see, understand, and accept the inescapable imperfection that is the human 
condition.

Jack Balance is the main character in Friedler’s world, BOOK OF BOZ, a 700 page epic that forms 
the core of his entire artwork. The character continually suffers at the hands of his creator – born deaf and 
dumb in a match box, he lives in a cage, able to express himself only by whistling or writing on boards. He 
is granted speech once a year on his birthday. A metaphysical personage, Jack Balance originally desires 
to become human; frequent encounters, however, have him wishing to remain a fictional character.

The works in the exhibition depict the various exploits of Jack Balance while exploring a diverse 
range of communication mediums in the visual arts.  On the first floor of the gallery are 30 original Comic 
Strip illustrations –bright, childishly optimistic pages which introduce the viewer to the BOOK OF BOZ.  In 
the center of the gallery stands Mappemonde, an exquisite Murano glass sculpture staging the 3 main 
characters of the book, its delicate elements symbolizing the fragility of life.  The second floor reveals the 
background of Jack Balance: a sculptural likeness is surrounded by a projection providing an insight into the 
world of BOZ, accompanied by a unique series of photographs depicting theLives and Deaths of Jack 
Balance.

Julien Friedler lives and work between Brussels and Monaco.  Friedler started his career as a 
psychoanalyst and author.  In 1997 he set out to communicate his philosophies in visual form. His work has 
been shown throughout the world and at such institutions as Mudima Foundation in Milan, Italy; it will be 
exhibited at MUBE, Sao Paulo, Brazil in October 2009 as well as the National Gallery for Foreign Art, Sofia, 
Bulgaria in May 2009.

 

Fom April 17 to May 25, 2009

Christopher Henry Gallery 
127 Elizabeth Street 
NEW YORK, NY 10013