solo show: abel barroso

On a recent adventure to Laguna Beach, California {more on that to come}, I stopped in at Salt Fine Art. While Salt Fine Art had a number of interesting pieces, a carved wooden house-shaped hinged box, presented in a back corner, captured my attention. Inside the house were a series of smaller solid wood houses sitting in mock paper cups like little chocolates. The lid of the house/box had a list of carved numbers and city names corresponding to each “chocolate” house. I loved the charming play on Home Sweet Home. And so it was that I discovered Abel Barroso. 

AbelBarroso-VolverACasa  AbelBarroso-computer AbelBarroso-ATM

A flip through a Borroso catalogue and I was totally smitten. While Borroso’s work touches on deeply emotional themes such as place, identity, and poverty, he explores them with a lighthearted sense of play. This is most obvious in his installation Pinball del Emigrante, 2012, a series of life-size pinball machines displayed at the Havana Biennial 2012.

AbelBarroso-PinballdelEmigrante-small

AbelBarroso-PinballdelEmigrante-detail

AbelBarroso-PinballdelEmigrante

The craftsmanship in Barroso’s wooden sculptural works speak to his interest in printmaking. But instead of the viewer seeing a final print, we see where the print began – in the tool itself, circling back to one of his repeated themes, roots. While I enjoy the layers of reference in Abel Barroso’s artwork, I love that his work is so approachable; One can be drawn to Barroso’s artworks because they are, well, really really neat.

AbelBarroso

{Abel Barroso with a hand-carved robot arm}

Abel Barroso is a contemporary Cuban artist. For more information on Abel Barroso see Pan American Art Projects

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