Sub

Sub
John G. Balsley
Born 1944
Acquisition Number: 67.25
Medium: assemblage of metal, ceramic, plastic & fabric
Size: 32 1/2" x 30" x 20"
Date: 1967

John G. Balsley, a native Ohioan who earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Northern University and a master’s in fine arts from Northern Illinois University is a sculptor and two-dimensional artist.  He retired from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005 after teaching there for almost 30 years.  Balsley’s sculpture is meticulously intricate and painstakingly crafted. Some pieces incorporate over two hundred individually hand-tooled parts creating the sum of Balsley’s clever, light-hearted figures. One group of figures created in the Vietnam era appeared as leather suited winged men who could possibly have buzzed in the air over your head– they were faceless sinister figures whom might be carrying out spy missions or they could have been kamikazes whose bodies were laden with explosives that had been targeted for different parts of the world. When you view “Sub” your mind can twist and turn to many ideas - what is the artist betraying. John Balsley wrote to us: “This sculpture was made about 1965, I think. It was made from found objects, including as old milk can, paint, plaster, and some carving. It depicts a man in a one-man sub looking for adventure”. Balsley’s work, ever evolving, began burning images on wood in the 1990s.  He invented Pyro Prints, which made their debut in 2004.  Pyro prints are a unique medium using images that are scanned, manipulated and then engraved onto special magnesium plates.