Blalla W. Hallmann
1941 - 1997
Blalla W. Hallmann was born in 1941 in Silesia. Motivated by an artist acquaintance, he began in his adolescence to work on developing his drawing abilities. After a year of trial studies at the Art Academy Düsseldorf, he began at the age of sixteen, an apprenticeship as a house painter, he later finished his art studies in Nürnberg. At the end of the 1960s, Hallmann left for San Francisco, where he stayed for several years. He taught at the University of California and met the underground artist Robert Crumb.
Blallas' œuvre demonstrates a well-balanced relationship between children's drawings, icons and an academic manner, simultaneously revealing motifs of an intact yet abysmal world. There are cycles dealing with birth, torture-chambers and mortuaries, as well as chimeric creatures, and parodical reference to the history of art. In the 1980s, his so called ”horror pictures“ depicted known images of the horrors of concentration camps, the inquisition, bigotry, and the near Alps cast in a pinkish cloud, which become highlighted by the black background he began applying in the 1990s.