We are proud to announce that the Spanish artist Lluìs Barba featured in Deborah Vankin’s report on the LA Art Show for Los Angeles Times on the 28th of January 2016.
Guernica, 2013, featured here, formed the centre-piece in the exhibition Travelers in Time: The Fragility of the Historical Memory and Political Powers. This was the first time the work was shown in Los Angeles, following the artist’s solo museum show ‘Travels in Time’ at the Fundacio Vila Casas, Barcelona in 2015.
The LA Art Show also commissioned a new work by Barba for this years exhibition. Barba’s enormous photographic collage, La Muestra de Gersaint Watteau is based on a 18th century painting L’Enseigne de Gersaint by the French artist Jean-Antoine Watteau, which depicts the shop window of the Parisian art handler Gersaint. In his reimagining of this world, Barba has replaced “the old masters with modern masters,” as he explains himself. Thus we can identify pop art by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein as well as contemporary paintings by local L.A. artists such as Ed Ruscha. Just as Watteau created an air of luxurious consumption in the crammed little boutique on the Pont de Notre Dame, Barba aims to illustrate the present art world and consumerist culture.
Known for his ironic and witty reimaginings of Old Master paintings, Barba is a contemporary master of reinvention; famous and obscure works are rendered in monotone, and populated with celebrities, art world figures and contemporary cultural icons. His playful technique belies a serious critique of celebrity culture. In his usual fashion, Barba stamps every figure in the picture with a barcode on the forehead or arm, where their names also appear.
“My work speaks to opposites in society,” Barba told Vankin. “I like for the people who have money and the people who don’t have money to share the same space, people who are glamorous and people who aren’t glamorous, all together. The barcodes, that’s consumerism. No matter where you go, globally, it’s widespread.”