French. Born in Chile. I live and work in France currently.

"Everything is spontaneous, without sketch or scenario. Just feelings."

Juan Barquero’s art is a sophisticated psychological double entendre articulated in mediums and techniques that realise themes of sensuality, corporeality and temporality. A poetic sensibility suspends parts of the human condition that might otherwise feel burdensome or abhorrent and enables us to examine them with parallel intimacy and distance. Not unlike his muse, French poet Saint-John Perse, Juan’s work charts a journey navigating a vast body, which is always deftly rendered by the draftsman and painter.

 

Celebrating the gentle contours of the female body with fine, sensual, fluid lines that reference an unrestrained dance, Juan’s drawings provide a seductive entry point to an intense oeuvre, introducing enduring themes of sensuality, corporeality and temporality, which then find an intense, visceral realisation in his pastels, where the viscous opacity of wax-bound oil replaces the drawings’ translucent washes of colour. The spontaneous removal of the medium through acts of rubbing and scratching serves to create quasi-definition and provide value nuance while mirroring the disinhibition native to throes of passion. A subtext acknowledges organic erosion, or wounding, by time, which is a subject of fascination for the artist, who has previously staged a pastel exhibition based on French poet Saint-John Perse’s ‘Amers’ and admires cave drawings. Abstract marks and shapes created in a charged palette of reds and oranges reconcile sensuality and a more archetypically masculine aggression while the dual figures simultaneously suggest union and disintegration, of one and other and/or one and one’s internal representation of other in a sophisticated psychological double entendre. These prevailing themes and motifs reach a climactic culmination in acrylic paintings - explosive compositions in which figure is often indistinguishable from ground. Motifs such as hands are transmogrified to elude effects of familiarity and instead stoke the work’s primal essence, which is coerced with rich layers of highly-pigmented paint that appears to settle on the surface like a stain. The abstraction mirrors their lack of explicit spatial definition while marshaling the viewer's vision as the minds of both artist and viewer become proxies for topography and emotions spanning ecstasy and terror take turns in a kind of pas de deux.

Rebecca Long
 
Artist / Editor

 

Copyright © 2016. Juan Barquero all rights reserved. No publication, no print without clarified approval.
All photographs presented here are the sole property of JUAN BARQUERO. Published works are protected under domestic and international copyright laws and are not considered to be public domain. No photograph may be reproduced, copied, manipulated, or used whole or in part of a derivative work, without written permission. All right reserved.