While audiences are more familiar with his caricatures printed daily in the Luxemburger Wort, few know that Florin Balaban is a man of many talents.
Balaban, who draws caricatures on international political topics for Luxembourg’s major newspaper, calls himself ”a fine witness of the world’s political scene”, admitting that he is very passionate about the topic.
From drawing caricatures of Barack Obama, Angela Merkel or François Hollande to the portrayal of the Greek crisis, the North-South Korean tensions, crisis-hit Spain and the criticism over Spanish Premier’s decisions, Balaban has illustrated the world’s most current and influential political events over the years.
A self-taught cartoonist, for Florin Balaban drawing is a passion that he never ceased to pursue, having tried his best to practice and develop his skills.
Florin Balaban worked as a cartoonist for regional newspapers in several Romanian cities prior to moving to Luxembourg and started collaborating with Luxemburger Wort in 1996, having also worked for La Voix du Luxembourg until 2011.
Passionate about drawing, Balaban is equally interested in painting and has previously exhibited two collections dedicated to wine and Europe.
Mostly known and acclaimed for his artistic skills, Balaban also spends time pursuing his other lifetime passion – sports.
A professional badminton player, with a degree in Sport Sciences and Physical Activity from the University of Brașov, in Romania, Balaban moved to the Grand Duchy in 1996 when he took on a job as a badminton coach and player for the B.C. 82 Bettembourg sports club.
Looking back on the experience, Balaban points out that the little country in the middle of Europe seemed very attractive back in the day, due to its geographical position as well as for providing good facilities for badminton players.
A skilled badminton player and with previous experience as a professional sportsman under his belt, Florin Balaban was part of the Romanian Olympic Badminton team competing at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
He describes the event as ”an incredible opportunity” pointing out that taking part in the Olympic Games has been the highlight of his career as a sportsman, especially since the team he was part of was the last to represent Romanian badminton at any Olympic games ever since.
17 years later, Balaban is still playing for the Luxembourg badminton club, and calls the Grand Duchy one of his homes, pointing out that each of the places where he has lived remains close to his heart.
Florin Balaban is also a promoter of Luxembourg caricature and art and is involved in numerous events in the local art scene.
Although only a handful of local amateur and professional caricature artists live in Luxembourg, this hasn’t stopped Balaban from organising a contest of caricature and cartoon in Vianden.
Now in its sixth edition, the International Contest of Caricature and Cartoon of Vianden, set to take place on May 4, unites important local and foreign caricature artists from a number of countries.
From May 5 until May 26, audiences will be able to explore the winning caricatures in an exhibition held in the Hall of the Knights of the Castle of Vianden.
Owner of a caricature museum in Vianden
For members of the public who would like to know more about the works of Florin Balaban, the artist and his wife, Sanda Balaban, have founded and manage a private caricature museum.
The Museum of Caricature and Cartoon is located at 48, Grand rue, L-9410 in Vianden and is generally open to the public in summer time.
For more information on the works of Florin Balaban as well as the upcoming caricature contest in Vianden, visit the artist’s website here.
Find the article published in the online press and explore more caricatures here.
An article published on the English Wort news service on April 16.