|Cuándo:||17 nov de 2016 - 14 ene de 2017|
|Inauguración:||17 nov de 2016|
|Dónde:||Art Nouveau Gallery / 348 NW 29th St / Miami, Florida, Estados Unidos|
|Organizada por:||Art Nouveau Gallery|
|Artistas participantes:||Rafael Barrios|
Magical Dimensions By: Adrian Barros To enter Rafael Barrios’ atelier is like penetrating a surreal world where everyday objects lose their shape, and some even their existence, and turn into something else made with the same materials but with a different destiny. It is as if Barrios’ hand transforms objects not only in their shape but also in their essence. The work of Rafael Barrios seems to contemplate the world and see it move like if it were a living being. When you look at the sculpture and then move, you will see the work move in the opposite direction since it is concave and convex. That’s what creates the sensation that “seeing is not believing”. This generates a mental game, an interrelationship that makes the observer into a different universe dominated by the unfathomable. Even a glimpse at one of his works will produce a certain uneasiness, “a slight vertigo” because when you try to decipher it you are mobilizing your neurons in a different way, searching for what the new shapes produce in your mind, inevitably moving your intellect or as Barrios’ describes it “neuro calistenics”. Long into our conversation I finally confirmed the suspicion that haunted me since I first entered the studio: there are many things in here but none by chance. In this apparent chaos, everything has a place, but not just a physical place; it is as if everything has a goal, a motivation, a reason to be here. As he talks, Barrios moves around his works, photos, books, nicknacks - some picked up in the streets -, tables covered with mountains of papers, drawings, ladders, stools, and a myriad of other things that could not “play” anywhere else. And I use the word “play” because one cannot avoid having fun in Rafael Barrios’ studio. It is like an amusement park for the senses. And to increase these particular - lets say spiritual - characteristics of his work, Barrios moves and plays continuously with colors, shapes and textures. In this kind of intellectual amusement park you can see shiny works in vivid colors hanging from tree branches or, a bit farther in the bushes, an object in an intense blue or purple catches your eye. When did you start the road on the world of art and who has been most influential in the development of Rafael Barrios? “ I’ve always been more interested in what I perceive from an object rather than what I simply see. If I see a cardboard box from a distance, I am constructing it in my mind since I’m only seeing three sides of the box. In other words, If I take away the three sides that I don’t see, I’m just assuming it is a box but I’m not seeing it my mind is constructing the other 3 sides. I have been surrounded by art and artists since my early childhood. I was close to relevant artists like Alejandro Otero, Mercedes Pardo, Angel Hurtado, Sonia Sanoja, Gego, dancers, poets, because of my mother close friendship with them, besides that, I grew up and lived in Venezuela a country of great artists like Soto, Cruz-Diez, and Rafael Martinez. These experiences have had a huge influence in the fact that I prefer art without symbolic connotations in terms of the figurative, even though I like to paint and draw. When I was about 12 years, I worked in an auto repair shop; washed the parts and pieces and my only retribution’s was to see how everything worked... I was fascinated with that. I’ve always been curious about how things function, also worked as a carpenter, electrician and blacksmith. When I was 14, my mother realized that I was drawing the parts and enrolled me in the School of The Fine Arts Museum (Escuela del Museo de Bellas Artes) in Caracas, which had been opened in the back of this museum where the Venezuelan National Art Gallery is now. On Saturdays, masters like Alejandro Otero and Mercedes Pardo taught there. Those were the times when Caracas was speedily growing: the highways emerged, the “Pulpo” and all those wide highway avenues, bridges that seem to weave around the buildings which often surpassed in height. I was absolutely fascinated with all that... in awe of being able to stand somewhere that was taller than a building. I was so captivated by that incredible concrete weave that, at 15, I painted a huge canvas that won the National Youth Painting Award (Premio Nacional Juvenil de Pintura) in the 60’s. That award was the final turn of the helm that definitively steered my life towards art, and so I continued growing. I painted so much that many times I’d fell asleep on my canvases. “What really matters is learning, going forth through every phase of my work, even when making mistakes or being wrong, making nice and bad drawings, allowing yourself a process of development, being well aware because, between these lines, the road you want to take is written. When did the transition to the three dimensions took place in your work? Paintings are wonderful windows through which you may open an immense universe. But to me with sculpture, there is a physical confrontation, a presence. That’s what most impressed me while at art school, so much that I discarded the canvases in 1973 and wanted to paint on glass or anything transparent because I wished the direction of my evocation to be unidirectional, “towards the viewer”. The works of Rafael Barrios are objects in space adapted to the human beings. He proposes a game in relation to the dimensions and shapes of things. “What I do is synthesize the shapes around us and reshape them so they can be experimented in a different way... If you look closely, you can see that the most used shape in Architecture is the cube: buildings, boxes... and most of what we do is cubic and unidirectional the right angled, we read from left to right, top to bottom, when in reality our minds are organic and thinks in a space that has nothing to do with the gravity. That’s why I say that gravity is not indelibly in the mind, since we are capable of dreaming in a spatial way, but live in a world that is subject to this constant pull. Not necessarily our minds should be”. Do you play with the observer? Yes, I am also one!. I’m interested in shaking the observer perception to do this. All men are made the same way, same sensations, same fears...