myrna balk, artist
etchings, woodcuts, and monoprints sculpture photographs artist statement and bio fiber arts

The Demand Factor:
Buying Despair

Woodcuts, etchings, and collages by Myrna Balk
exhibited at Newbury College Art Gallery, Brookline, Massachusetts
January 10th - February 27th, 2005

Each image on this page represents a series. Please click on any image to see the rest of the art and text associated with the series.

no parking, no guns, no pimpsHouses/homelessness

Myrna Balk's prints first appear simple, even childlike, yet these innocent drawings depict the most corrupt of subject matter, the systemic social and sexual exploitation of women and children.

Balk has combined a life of professional social work and personal research with her skills as an artist to scrutinize the exploitation of women. Figures in profusion, composed casually on a page without pretension, yet floating, surrealistic, haunting, they demand to connect to our sense of a desperate reality. Ragged lines, flat overlapping planes, reliance on the natural texture of materials and even the admitted flimsiness of cardboard and paperboard structures help to convey an uncertainty as they speak about morally compelling, yet tortuous issues.

Using etchings, woodcuts, sculpture, collages and an installation, she pulls us into the multi-faceted problems that are all around us. The work touches on problems such as the prostitution of girls, mail order brides, sex tourism and the plight of runaway teens. All of this stems from the issue of the demand for sex with women. Her simple linear images allow us to think about the issues as we look at the art.

“Myrna Balk’s work captures the anguish of women and girls whose rights have been violated. Ms. Balk’s work challenges the world to acknowledge the imperative need for all of us to champion and promote human rights worldwide.”
— Bonnie Abaunza, Director of Artist Relations, Amnesty International

contact Myrna Balk for permission to reprint
June 8, 2008
Contact Myrna Balk
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