Eric Balint, Georgian (1957 - )
Balint was born in 1957 in the small town of Poti in Georgia, USSR. His French father and Poti-native mother met in Paris and returned to Poti to start a family. Balint grew up in the loving care of his extended family and was a lively and creative child, his teachers often catching him drawing in class and not paying attention. He finally convinced his parents to encourage his artistic skill and enroll him in art classes.
As Balint's skills expanded he participated frequently in art programs and published his work in local magazines. By the age of ten, he was known in his local community to possess a great deal of artistic potential. His art continued to be his focus through the remaining years of school, sometimes to the detriment of his grades. At fifteen he made the decision to go to art school, and left Poti to attend the prestigious Tbilisi Academy of Art in 1981.
The transition to this new place proved difficult for Balint. He missed the familiarity of his close-knit family in Poti, and spend a great amount of time alone. He gained solace in walking through local parks to observe people and landscapes, then returning to his flat to use the new images in artworks. With his growing knowledge of technique and these new perspectives of observation, Balint and his drawing greatly matured. He began studying movement and light and the nuances of color with an attention he had not previously known possible. Balint remembers this as being a major period of growth in his life, stating "I learned to see for the first time." He believes the nuances and subtle movement that make up the moments of each day contain the most tangible forms of beauty in life.
After graduating from Tbilisi Academ, Eric became more increasingly prolifc and confidentin trying different subject matter and mediums than ever before. His talent was recognized by the USSR Union of Artists, and although he had originally planned to become a university professor of painting, his own exhibitions were frequent enough to support his own studio.
The artistic climate in Russia was somewhat prohibitive, and his new contacts in the art world encouraged him to immigrate to the United States. After considering for several years, Balint moved to New York where he spent several years painting and gaining exposure. He was interested in living in a smaller city and moved to Atlanta in 1989. His work has truly flourished and Balint credits Atlanta with giving him a new perspective on color and contour. He continues to seek new ways to expand his talents and maintains global attention and acclaim.