Happy Birthday Giacomo Balla!! Italian painter born in 1874, Balla began as an Expressionist but signed the Futurist Manifesto of 1910 and painted in that vein for a time. It is said that he painted the only humorist painting of the movement: Dog on a Leash. (Remember, Futurists were interested in depicting movement.) He later returned to Expressionism. When considered, Balla’s work would appear to be but abstract, popular Parisian belief at the time regarded only mindless patterning to be truly abstract, therefore his work was termed “cosmic symbolism or painting exercises”.