Alvaro Barrington

b. 1983 Caracas, Venezuela


Alvaro Barrington
Alvaro Barrington, A Different World - If Chosen I May Not Run 11, 2017, installation view No horizon, no edge to liquid, 2020, at Zabludowicz Collection, London. Photo: Tim Bowditch



Born to Grenadian and Haitian parents and raised between the Caribbean and New York, Barrington’s practice explores interconnected histories of cultural production. Although primarily a painter, Barrington’s multimedia approach employs burlap, textiles, postcards and clothing, exploring how materials themselves can function as visual tools while referencing their personal, political and commercial histories. Barrington’s practice celebrates communities using their own cultural language and draws upon his own childhood memories from the island of Grenada, finding inspiration in the natural landscape and carnival culture. Barrington often depicts body parts of friends and lovers alongside and native Caribbean flora and vegetation. He materialises colours, forms and textures from these fading memories, while responding to the history western painting.

Sewing plays a part in many of his works, acting as a direct reference to his familial ties and family history. The yarn in the series A Different World – If Chosen I May Not Run was woven by his aunts back in Grenada. Overlaid and inserted into the old-fashioned landscapes and scenes on found vintage European postcards, the handmade fibres create a friction with the prim historic images of scenic views and architectural monuments beneath.