The first solo U.S.exhibition of one of Columbia’s most promising emerging contemporary artists, Johan Barrios, is under way at the Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery.
“Bad Party: Works by Johan Barrios” opens with a reception 6-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7. In conjunction with his show, Barrios will remain in Stamford as an artist in residence. He will operate an open studio as part of the gallery’s innovative Sprouting Spaces initiative, and will hold lectures and workshops.
Barrios uses photorealistic imagery and a mischievous sensibility in his work. At 29, the artist displays a “well-seasoned” sense of humor through his large format oil and acrylic pieces display a well-seasoned sense of humor, the gallery notes.
Colombian journalist Ana Velez says that Barrios “creates images from the questions that art inspires, and they communicate those questions to the conceptual level. Johan is a restless artist who is not married to any formula.He has ways of representing his strokes within a certain realism, ranging from a photographic image to the archetype of the images illustrated in the magazine-style of American advertising in the sixties, or, at times, as if to recall thestyle of Norman Rockwell.”
Barrios’ work has ignited the interest of some of Colombia’s top publications, such as Summus and Cromos. Interviews and images have also been published in Germany’s Art Investor magazine and Switzerland’s Kunst magazine.
“When I first saw Barrios’ work during a business trip to Colombia, I knew I had something of exceptional quality in front of me,” says gallery owner Fernando Luis Alvarez. “In an instant, his work’s strongest characteristics collapsed into one: exceptional technique, use of color, and humorous narratives. There is perfection in his detailing, but chaos in the collection’s totality, making each piece a unique and thrilling experience. When I picked his brain, that’s when I was certain: I had a winner in an artist, backed by an unmatched level of professionalism, work ethic, and artistic integrity.”