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The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Johan Barrios’s Ominous Paintings of High Society

Colombian artist Johan Barrios seems to be fascinated with how quickly the superficial veneer of propriety can disintegrate. His well-heeled and well-groomed characters are outfitted with all the signifiers of upper class status — blouses neatly tucked into pencil skirts, tailored blazers, leather couches. Yet by omitting select details in his realistically-rendered works, Barrios endows them with a sinister tone. In one piece, a woman lies despondent on a glossy, tile floor. Black party balloons hover over her like an ominous cloud. A creeping suspicion sets in as one begins to wonder whether this polished world hides dark secrets.

Colombian artist Johan Barrios seems to be fascinated with how quickly the superficial veneer of propriety can disintegrate. His well-heeled and well-groomed characters are outfitted with all the signifiers of upper class status — blouses neatly tucked into pencil skirts, tailored blazers, leather couches. Yet by omitting select details in his realistically-rendered works, Barrios endows them with a sinister tone. In one piece, a woman lies despondent on a glossy, tile floor. Black party balloons hover over her like an ominous cloud. A creeping suspicion sets in as one begins to wonder whether this polished world hides dark secrets.

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