Known/Unknown

Installation (1)

Javier Barrios (from Mexico, born 1979) is an artist currently located in New York, with residency at The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), an unparalleled platform continuously pushing the frontiers of artist development, and our awareness of it.

Javier Barrios is deeply interested in the evolution of the Universe – what we do and do not know about it and what our place in it is as human beings. Across art media like painting, sculpture and installation, and the integration of advanced technology and science, he creates exquisitely beautiful visual fiction based on the true story. Javier uses a logical system to structure his work, similar to the way the inner mind organizes lines and shapes into thoughts and images to arrive at a coherent narrative – one that is likewise part fantasy, part reality.

Collapsing cast of astronauthelmet made out of jesmonite with lightsource 45x45x100cm 2012Each piece, a Universe in itself, represents the true mystery and complexity of our world and beyond. Paintings and objects are also physically linked by long umbilical cord-like connectors, capturing the essential interconnectedness of all things. The results are beautiful, powerful and humbling.

His process begins with an idea, yet the act of painting itself has its own spontaneity and unpredictability. A painting’s construction is always expanding, always being discovered, always changing as one idea leads organically to another. Nothing is static. There are endless ideas to express, rules and possibilities to explore, break and re-invent. Using a palette that mixes pure and powerful tertiary colors, the vibrancy of his work interweaves the dark and heavy, the light and the liberating.

Moongazer Oil on mylar mounted on lightboxes aprox 270x65x20 cm 2011It’s easy to get lost in the sheer beauty of his paintings. They are perfectly executed and presented like pieces of a puzzle, every detail fitting together to create the experience of order, vastness and geometric harmony a la the Universe.

The viewer can loose herself in her imagination trying to make sense of the questions raised by the paintings. How do we understand Infinity? What is our significance in it’s vastness? How much do we actually know about anything? His installation makes us feel anxious and unsettled because they force to recognize how random our existence actually is.

Barrios ultimately shows that whatever the next breakthrough discovery is, and whatever the medium, it is part of a whole that can never be entirely revealed and isn’t necessary for our existence. Yet he bathes us in visual beauty and perfection, reminding us to appreciate that which is, while inspiring us to keep discovering.

Void Oil on mylar mounted on lightbox 190x280 cm 2012


Javier Barrios (born 1979, San Luis Potosi) studied at the National Academy of Arts, Oslo and at the School of Visual Arts, New York. His recent solo exhibitions include Rod Bianco Gallery, Oslo; Akershus Kunstner Senter, Lillestrøm; Galerie Muelhaupt, Cologne and group exhibitions at Galleri K, Oslo; Vetsfossen Kunstlaboratorium; Norsk Skulprturbiennale and Vigeland Museum. Barrios lives and works in New York.

 

 

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