Brazilian artist Felipe Barbosa (born 1978, lives in Rio de Janeiro) re-contextualizes common materials and accentuates their formal qualities by creating repetitive yet dynamic compositions. Although constructed manually, his sculptures are indicative of the mass-production process used to manufacture the materials.
Familiar objects are cast away on their application by altering their physical compositions and creating unexpected and formally engaging situations. In doing so, the artist shifts the focus from usage/intent to formal qualities, allowing new ideas and associations inherent to the materiality of the object to be more recognized. Barbosa’s practice is centered on recycling materials and highlighting their design elements and iconographic presence in a cultural context.
Soft and cuddly creatures are covered with novelty firecrackers, depleting their affectionate quality and making them threatening. Barbosa’s ability to alter an object’s physicality and meaning makes its mark again on a sculpture made out of readymade doghouses. Toys and soccer balls become inoperative, as the doghouses are uninhabitable and clear reference to the favelas in Brazil.
Accumulation is the mandatory word in Barbosa’s work, and its vehicle to accumulated objects to obtain meaning. This becomes possible through assembling schemes, fitting, splicing, contrast, combination, and results.
The last two pieces displayed here are from my personal collection.
Who is the guest of the day: Thiago Noronha is a designer. And Tomie’s daddy.
Video (in Portuguese)