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Barnaby Barford’s ‘ME WANT NOW’ Invades David Gill Gallery

Barnaby Barford’s “ME WANT NOW,” staged at David Gill Gallery in London, features a line-up of life-size, ceramic animal sculptures, but its implications are decidedly human. As they await the unknown, the gallery says the pieces represent a “a visual allegory of human existence.” The exhibit comes a year after his 20-foot-high "Tour of Babel" installation, comprised of 3,000 miniature buildings, inhabiting the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Barford was first featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 8 and is part of the “Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose” at Virginia MOCA. “ME WANT NOW” runs through Dec. 21.

Barnaby Barford’s “ME WANT NOW,” staged at David Gill Gallery in London, features a line-up of life-size, ceramic animal sculptures, but its implications are decidedly human. As they await the unknown, the gallery says the pieces represent a “a visual allegory of human existence.” The exhibit comes a year after his 20-foot-high “Tour of Babel” installation, comprised of 3,000 miniature buildings, inhabiting the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Barford was first featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 8 and is part of the “Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose” at Virginia MOCA. “ME WANT NOW” runs through Dec. 21.




Among them is an 8-foot polar bear, constructed of porcelain, wood, MDF, epoxy putty, enamelled copper wire, plastic, and foam. Trophy heads, in a nearby room, hint at the fate of the animals. The show is also to feature the artist’s works on paper. The broader theme of the body of work is the “me first” mentality of contemporary culture. Reflecting on words like “more,” “power,” “change,” “choice,” “hope,” “glory,” and “greatness” may seem positive on an individual basis, but as a whole, can be dangerous.



“Individually the words I have chosen are positive as are the pieces in isolation, it is in their relationship to each other and ultimately the installation as a whole that drives the narrative of the exhibition. Fear promotes the ‘me first’ culture, the disregard of consequences and the collateral damage that ensues seems to be eroding our sense of collective humanity.”


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The skin-toned, sporadically hairy ceramic sculptures crafted by Jason Briggs can be both unsettling and entice one to touch. The artist says he aspires to create things he’s “never quite seen before.” And as for compelling viewers for closer inspection, that’s part of his charge, too: “Though my objects contain strong visual references, I am more interested in the implied tactile ones; the things that stir in me a compulsion to touch,” his statement says. “Beyond other external inspiration lies this basic, primal impulse. I recognize – and act upon – a profound desire to push, poke, squeeze, stroke, caress, and pinch. I intend for my pieces to invoke a similar sort of temptation.”
First featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 8, and soon, our exhibition with Virgina MOCA in 2016, Barnaby Barford builds vignettes and installations out of found figurines that he cuts up and reassembles. The objects he uses for his materials are some that most people would dismiss in their original form, but Barford's art makes them relevant and alluring. For his latest installation, "Tower of Babel", the artist's process began when he cycled over 1,000 miles to photograph facades from each of London's postcodes.

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