On 11 March 2008, the irreverent ceramic artist Barnaby Barford will be exhibiting a new series of subversive objects at David Gill Galleries in London. The latest collection, "Private Lives," shows Barford treading into uncharted territory, repositioning figures from pop culture and cartoons for his witty mises-en-scènes.
A graduate of the Royal College of Art in 2002, Barford has been working with found ceramics for several years, cutting, splicing, juxtaposing and repainting figures to create ambiguous situations that often rely upon their titles for narrative direction. Updating antiquity is not an entirely novel approach these days; manufacturers such as Nymphenburg Porcelain (through Hella Jongerius) and Lladró (with their Re-Deco project) have been reinvigorating their porcelain catalogs with pieces that border on contemporary kitsch.
What separates Barford's work from other examples is his ability to comment on, and undermine, our sentimental tendencies while simultaneously creating objects of desire. (Click images for detail.)