Words by Lula Criado
My first exposure to Rafael Gómezbarros’s work (Colombia, 1972) was at the Saatchi Gallery’s show ‘Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America’. Rafael was showcasing his stunning installation Casa Tomada, a very large installation of hundreds of sculptures of ants made up of fibreglass casts of human skulls.
Art and visual culture are tools for analysing and understanding the society in which we live. With these thought-provoking pieces of art, Rafael Gómezbarros is talking to the viewer about death, violence, immigration and social behaviours like consumerism. By blending individual and social identity with art, Gómezbarros denounces the political situation in Colombia and promotes critical thoughts about society.
The central theme of his installation La Especialidad de la Casa* is the rhetoric of consumption. A huge installation sculpture project in which hundreds of spoons represent the ephemeral and solitude act of compulsive consumption. A paradoxical act which involves the desire for self-satisfaction and pleasure but provides a false satisfaction.
*Rafael Gómezbarros is showcasing his project La Especialidad de la Casa from 12 to 15 June 2014 in Pinta London, an art event dedicated to Latin American Art which also includes artists from Spain and Portugal.
What do you most like and dislike about the period we live in?
I like the technology because it breaks with mental borders. I don’t like the indifference to the pain of others and such a slow justice.
What is your chief enemy of creativity?
Ego and leisure.
If you would have to give up one of your five senses, which one would it be and why?
The tongue. I’d lose the sense of taste but I’d be more contemplative. I wouldn’t answer so many questions, I’d be more visual, more introverted and more analytical.
What is the worst piece of advice you have been given?
To do just the opposite.
Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
One for the ride… Who or what was the last person, place or thing that fascinated you?
The birth of my children Sarah and Samuel.