Arnis Balčus

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Arnis Balčus
Born (1978-04-02) April 2, 1978 (age 36)
Riga, Latvia
Nationality Latvian
Education University of Latvia, University of Westminster
Known for Photography

Arnis Balčus (born 1978) is a Latvian photography and video artist. Born in Riga, Latvia, Balcus lived and worked in his home town before moving to London, United Kingdom, in 2004. He took an MA course on photography at University of Westminster from 2004 to 2005. He is exhibiting his work since 1994, but emerged internationally in 2003 with the photographic series Myself, Friends, Lovers and Others. Using snapshot aesthetic the series were showing the everyday life of contemporary Latvian youth.[1] The series had numerous solo shows, for instance, at Giedre Bartelt gallery, Berlin (2003), Overgaden, Copenhagen (2003), Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna (2004),[2] State Museum of Art, Riga (2004)[2] and Matthew Bown Gallery, London (2005).

In the project Episodes the artist was staging various cinematic scenes on the subjects of sex and violence, referencing films by Russ Meyer, Michael Powell and John Waters.[3] Episodes were released as a video and a series of three books - Vol. I (2006), Vol. II (2007) and Behind the Scenes (2007),[4] as well as exhibited as photographs and video in galleries and video festivals in London,[5] Riga, Prague and other places.

In May 2009 Arnis Balcus showed his new series Amnesia at Riga Art Space. In the photographs he was staging various social rituals that have disappeared from the everyday life in Latvia due to political and economical changes in the past thirty years.[6] The exhibition traveled to Ventspils, Latvia. Also Balcus' recent work Latvian Notes obsesses with ideas of what it is to be Latvian. He works with landscapes, interiors, still lives and a reportage to create a narrative of what Latvia is in the 21st century.[7]

In September 2009 the artist participated in the exhibition Private at the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga with the series Contemporary Latvians.[8] The exhibition was previously shown at Winzavod in Moscow (2008).

He addresses issues of identity and gender also in his video works. His video Xionel (2004) features a confession by a beautiful Asian transsexual, while Balcus' Latvia 1989-91 is a photo story created of artist's family snapshots from the time Latvia regained its independence from USSR.[9]

Balcus' work has also been published in various art and lifestyle magazines, such as Black and White Magazine, Dazed & Confused (magazine), Flash Art Magazine, Soul Mag, Achtung Mode and many more.

From January 2011 he is the chief editor of the main Latvian photography magazine - FK Magazine.[10]


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