Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barford barnaby barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design by Barnaby Barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barford

From the humorous cultural critique that characterized his early porcelain sculptures to the more recent social commentary through installations and drawings, Barnaby Barford uses recognizable iconography to subvert the narrative of ancient tales full of warning and advice, always bringing them into a contemporary context.

Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barnaby Barford - Jungle VIP Chandelier barnaby barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design by Barnaby Barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barford Jungle VIP Chandelier

“Jungle V.I.P.” Chandelier (2014). Made of crystal and glass. Created for Chandeliers group exhibition at David Gill gallery, with the artist’s trademark sense of humour. The Chandelier is forever tilted to the side by a swinging jewel encrusted primate with over 3,600 black Swarovski crystals. Photo: ©BB

His research explores the ultimate questions which are the essence of human nature: morality, conflict between good or evil, lack of happiness, and society’s never-ending ambition.

Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barnaby Barford - Tottenham Fox barnaby barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design by Barnaby Barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barford Tottenham Fox

“Tottenham Fox” (2014). Made of ceramic flowers and leaves, epoxy putty, enamelled copper wire, expanded foam and paint. Exploration of the city’s effect on us as animals. Photo: ©BB

Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barnaby Barford - Riot barnaby barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design by Barnaby Barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barford Riot

“Riot” (2018). Made of ceramic, epoxy putty, platinum lustre, MDF frame, metal hanging components, silver, backed mirror and enamelled copper wires. This mirror uses over 4000 ceramic flowers and ivy leaves, each depicting scenes from London’s 2011 riots. A brutal event that was caused by inequality, individualism, competition and austerity, which have sadly only worsened in the last 7 years. Photo: ©BB

Barford creates art pieces in a wide range of materials, however, something naturally draws him to ceramics, to the use of mass and industrial production processes.

Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barnaby Barford - Future barnaby barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design by Barnaby Barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barford Future

“Future” (2017). This lighting sculpture consists of 6,500 individual hand-made porcelain pieces. Each piece is tattooed with fragments of a word drawing by Barford, saying ‘Future’. Photo: ©BB

Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barnaby Barford - Future Detail barnaby barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design by Barnaby Barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barford Future Detail

“Future”‘s Detail. Photo: ©BB

He brings to life not only monumental sculptures composed of thousands of individual ceramic pieces, but also large-scale drawings which repeat the same word over and over again. All his artworks were born from dedication, passion and time, by collecting fragments to achieve completeness.

Barford’s best known work is The Tower of Babel (2015), a colossal 6.5m tall tower, created for the V&A in London. This installation included 3000 bone creating china buildings, each portraying a unique London shop that was offered for sale. Prices of the shops rose according to their position on the tower, encouraging people to understand or contest their place into London’s hierarchy of consumption.

Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barnaby Barford - Babel Tower barnaby barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design by Barnaby Barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barford Babel Tower

“The Tower of Babel” at the V&A. Photo: ©Thierry Bal

Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barnaby Barford - Babel Tower - barnaby barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design by Barnaby Barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barford Babel Tower

Photo: ©The Tower of Babel

Barnaby Barford’s masterpieces were already exhibited internationally in solo shows across Europe and the US, including a survey exhibition at MoCA Virginia (2013). Represented by David Gill Gallery in London since 2005, his work is part of public and private collections worldwide including The V&A in London and MoFA in Houston, Texas. He also collaborated in many prestigious commissions, including Louis Vuitton and a permanent public artwork in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. In 2016 Barford was awarded the Hospital Club’s h.Club 100 Award for Art, Design and Craft which celebrates the most influential and innovative people in the creative industries.

Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barford - Selfridges London barnaby barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design by Barnaby Barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barford Selfridges London

“Selfridges London – Louis Vuitton Commission”. Photo: ©BB

Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barford - Selfridges London - Detail barnaby barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design by Barnaby Barford Surprising Contemporary Art and Design Barford Selfridges London Detail

“Selfridges London – Louis Vuitton Commission”‘s Detail. Photo: ©BB

 

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