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Raif Balentine a Scottish-American Artist who is a native to Los Angeles, best associated with the Abstract expressionism methods, Started out influenced in impressionism, which has drastically morphed into a fluent style that he continues to perfect, since his academic training which has encouraged him to admire such masters as Pollack, Rothko, Mitchell, and Kline. He studied with F. Bill Moore, a contemporary American painter, ( AKA) the painting priest of Pomona, and Antoine Clement for a short stint while in France in the late 90's.

Much like his mentor Anselm Kiefer, Raif's works incorporate materials such as clay, lead, rust, shellac, and gemstones. Fusing art and literature, mending his paintings into sculpture, sculpture into paintings.
Raif engages the complex events and tragedies of history, and the catastrophic mysteries of life, death, and the beyond. 

Although he tries to communicate an intense range of emotion, energy and vibrancy through his art, Regarding his work, you'll find a sense of texture that entices you to want to touch the surface which gives a certain three dimensional feel to the art. Raif is one who hates esthetic labels, and in particular what is considered "good "verses "Bad" criteria.

He insists there is no one way to paint. Raif considers himself an extremist only in the matters of art and style. While in academic training, removed from following his peers into the styles of Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro, Raif started to go another way.  He started exploring darker, disturbing subject matter. Taking the atrocities that happen in life and being able to express the emotion in a work of art somehow appealed to Raif. Such early examples that influenced him , where artists like Otto Dix (the German expressionist.) After a rendition of ”The sex murder" 1922 he  received high remarks in academic school. 

Although there might be a slight presence of dark and sometimes violent themes in his work, Raif has moved on to other forms of creativity , using the elements of nature such as earth, fire, water, and air in his most recent works. Raif Balentine has been involved in numerous collaborative art shows held by the underground movement in Los Angeles in the 1990's. It has been several years of silence for Raif from the art scene, and no new works have formed until the covid years, and Isolation sparked his senses to start painting again.

"It's a wonderful feeling to regain one's passion for what has been abandoned. As much as I abused it, I realized that what I was taught, my skills, training, were still there, readily available to me. It was mine, and I look forward to displaying new and interesting work while I steer full force, head on into the art scene once again, discovering new and fascinating works of art along the way."

The Tender Reed
Breakfast in Auschwitz
    300 South Thomas Street
Pomona, CA 91766
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