Realistic paintings of expressive balloons inject a little celebration into your day

Gemma Gené is a visual artist from Barcelona, now based in New York. Her series of realistic oil paintings featuring colourful, metallic balloons, evoke feelings of fun and celebration, as well as illustrating her sheer wealth of skill.

She explains: "I believe in the beauty and power of common objects to communicate feelings from fun to sadness or loneliness. And I am fascinated by reflective materials, balloons, and transparencies – especially balloons because they are very humble objects but they have a life of their own (not unlike us) in which they grow towards being more and more inflated very quickly and then begin a slow process of decay and deflation.

"Foil balloons are very reflective, so their appearance is also affected and modified by their surroundings, again, not unlike human beings. In my work I like taking everyday objects and editing them so they become something else, changing the perspective we have of them and giving us a chance to look at the beauty of the world surrounding us with fresh new eyes."

Gené was trained as an architect and moved to the United States to earn a Masters in Advanced Architectural Design at Columbia University. In 2014, immediately upon graduation, she joined Steven Holl Architects until she focused on developing her artistic studio work.

She is perhaps best known for her online comic 157ofgemma where she narrates – in an ironic fashion – her life with her inseparable pug, Mochi. Discover more at


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