Polo (Paul Balland) biography
Polo is a French\British, London-based photographer (born from English mother and French father).
His practice explores the relations of urban, natural and industrial environments, mostly derelict and often forgotten, with the aesthetics of the oneiric (a dreamlike reality).
Polo's research starts from his interest in marginal areas that contain traces of multiple layers of everyday human life and working activities. These traces are often unknown and unperceived to the public attention.
Polo researches for places that are of non-aesthetic interest, but that are intensive references of human geographies and local cultures.
His attention is not in photo-documentation . Polo explores industrial, residential and environmental landscapes enhancing alternative focuses on them. These focuses and his camera are instrumental to create his original narrative of dreamlike realities, through manifesting unexpected, fantastic, imaginary worlds, although preserving their intensity as human testimony.
Starting from exploring sites of interest in cities, suburbs and countryside, Polo identifies chromatic or textural details of walls, pavements, architectural structures, derelict and found objects. Within this extensive archive of places and objects, and through the lenses of his camera, he captures the dream.
The result is always abstract and suggestive. Inspired by the legacy of artists like Gerhard Richter and Mark Rothko. Through his work Polo invites the viewers to discover an alternative aesthetic, searching for new elements of beauty, between reality and imagination.
In the past 15 years, Polo has developed his practice of fine art photographer shooting and collecting a large archive of images and works that are related to places worth it to explore for the cultural originality of the local communities and their environment.
Polo has so far developed specific projects that juxtapose the peculiarity of textures, colours and materials of cities, suburbs and natural sites; from the warm, light and colourful of Majorca to the metropolitan, multiethnic and energetic New York City, to the polyhedral, cutting edge, avant-garde, arty London.
Polo offers the viewer with unexpected beauty which emerges from his unconventional vision that creates the possibility of imaginary worlds, and through the coexistence and conversation of contemporary and period architecture, luxuriant nature and cold, metallic, industrial landscape, making the dream to unveil.