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”.(Essay Magical Dimensions by Adrian Barros).
As International Art Critic Robert C. Morgan wrote in 2012, “while Barrios refers to his work is unfathomable – meaning difficult or impossible to fathom or understand – there is also a mystical quality that is far more elusive”. Mysticism explores the unknown, and this is precisely what the art of Barrios suggests. His sculpture is made from materials, yet suggests the immaterial. In the early twentieth century, artists like Mondrian and Kandinsky were interested in the art of the spiritual; but it was, in actuality, a kind of mysticism that absorbed them. And so with Barrios, the ineluctable aspect of his art is always the most important and satisfying part of what he does. As the Russian linguist Roman Jacobson used to proclaim, it is easier to decipher the signs and symbols in a work of art than to finally acknowledge the ultimate mystery behind the work. This would seem to be the way Rafael Barrios intends his work to be seen, felt, and understood”.
About the Gallery:
Art Nouveau Galería was founded in Maracaibo, Venezuela in 1987 by Elizabeth Hazim de Castillo, in 2010 it opened a branch in Wynwood, Miami, known as Art Nouveau Gallery. The gallery features modern and contemporary art focused on the geometric abstraction art, widely explored in Latin America, and ranges from emerging and mid-career artists to major historical art figures such as Cruz-Diez and Jesús Rafael Soto.