Jorge Barbi | September 2020
Barbi is a self-taught artist with a long and prolific career. The magic of traveling and his own capacity for wonder are at the root of his practice, and they interact with one another like a “never-ending white puzzle”, in the words of the artist.
He says he feels challenged by aspects of his most intimate reality like the passage of time, the concept of chance, language games, and also by extra-artistic matters that settle rigorously in a variety of different formats: photography, drawing, sculptures, site specific installations and video art.
In these works, Barbi uses found objects as the starting point. The anthropomorphic iron figures are made out of old assembled rural tools used by blacksmiths in the forge; a material that has fallen into disuse. The subject matter of the photographs is sea foam symmetries, a natural phenomenon that takes place during winter storms in the artist’s native Galicia. The photographs of the eyes, that resemble tribal masks, are symmetries of seawater puddles that are formed in the rocks in the Atlantic costs of Northern Spain, where the artist lives.
With a consolidated national and international career, he has had institutional as well as museum shows in MUSAC (León); Spanish Royal Academy (Rome); CGAC (Santiago de Compostela); Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon); Museo Patio Herreriano (Valladolid) and MARCO (Vigo); among many others. In 1996, he was awarded the prestigious grant of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.