Class of 1977, assistant lecturer at Central St Martins, a polite observer of human behavior through the delicate and disturbingly childish porcelains and ceramics. Love, Lust and Porn.
"How else I am supposed to learn?"
Barnaby Barford doesn't take the figurine world for granted. Lately artists have freely let their ironic imagination investigate human behavior through figurines, These little human-ceramic representations that look either jolly or in a state of happy oblivion. Raise your hand if you haven't been attracted by one in an almost disturbing fascination.
I remember Danish Porcelain figures posing in an elegant yet as if I was the one intruding their world into my childhood house. I couldn't understand why my mother cared so much for them and why they had to be treated as if they were the most precious objects in the world. The disturbing element never left me, however, I too wanted to have them. When I asked myself why? The answer was: because they are pretty. As simplistic as this answer might sound, there is no linguistic thought without a deeper meaning.
"Secret to a happy marriage"
The representation of an ideal life, of a still-life in this case, has been, and will continue to be, either a source of embellishment and amusement, or a matter of artistic concern.
Barnaby Barford's investigation of the ironic line that separates lust from love, lust and love from pornography, is based on ordinary issues, momentary thoughts, sins, selfishness, desire, and the attractiveness of what pure love represents.
The unique narrative pieces, are indecent yet amusing as pornography used to be. There is a certain amount of not taking things too seriously, an approach to life and its phases that integrates all aspects of it in a mutual possession of what's pure, what's wrong, and what's desirable.
"You'd do it if you loved me"
All aspects of love are considered, from a sadistic approach to the urge to do wrong. There is something sinister yet candy-like about figurines that is not repulsive and can sit comfortably in someone's home without creating warfare.
'I take you to be my wedded wife. to have and to hold, from this day foward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part and hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.'
To show that we are all aware of what human nature is made of. The fact that we accept it is probably more disturbing than the figurines themselves.
Text by Acelya Yonac
All About Porcelain Art on Swide:
barnaby barford: love is…
david gill galleries, london
may 27th to june 30th, 2011