The name Ballack rang no bells for me when I heard it for the first time in December 2013. Since then I’ve seen many a soccer and art aficionado’s ears perk up at the mention of that name and I have subsequently become more clued up.
Ballack is synonymous with soccer because the surname belongs to both the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper, Peter, and the former German captain, Michael. Ballack is also the surname of the creative director responsible for all the tastefully designed interior goods that come from Ballack Art House. One would expect there to be some relation between Peter and Michael since they are both soccer stars, but Peter and his German counterpart share no blood.
There is, however, a blood relation between the German soccer player and the South African artist, Ivan Ballack. A fact borne out by the latter’s grandmother. And his ability to tap and dribble a ball.
Ivan’s recent activity in the art world – being featured on the German online art store Juniqe – seems an appropriate nod to his German heritage. The Berlin-based online store prides itself on being a hub for world-class, elclectic art. They “scout out the best independent artists from all over the world” and bring it back to Berlin, the capital of cool.
The unique thing about Juniqe is their mission of putting art everywhere. That is why they’ve chosen to use an online platform, which allows anyone anywhere to put up art everywhere. “We launch new artists regularly so there’s always fresh, exciting content to view,” says Lea Lange, co-founder and managing director of Juniqe.
Ivan’s work was instantly recognised as world class and Juniqe took him on as a featured artist in March this year. His collection went live last week Monday. Juniqe makes artists’ work available on stretched canvas, art prints, acrylic glass and accessories like phone cases. My favourite pieces in Ballack’s collection are the Island Life iPhone 4 case and the London Brick Lane framed art print.
Ballack Art House works are also featured on American and South African online stores Deny Designs, based in Boston, USA, and Superbalist, based in Woodstock, South Africa. Alternatively visit Haas in Cape Town, Modernist in Johannesburg or any Weylandts store in South Africa.