From: Dr P Scherber
Date: 12 March 2006
The Artist myth maker and the Legend of the kitchen sink:
The Artworks of the Artist Barrie J Davies
Dr P Scherber
Barrie J Davies multifarious work embraces drawings, paintings, signs, sculptures, Photographs, installations, videos, films, badges, social interventions, catalogues, happenings, CD Roms, posters, Invitation Cards, performances, writing, letters, mail art and curatorial activities.
His approach to his art work takes on the view of chaos and order based on an ongoing exploration into the absurd, pub philosophies, new urban myths, hyperbole and what we hold true in what we see, even in lies.
Fiction and fact blend themselves in his work and are set to disrupt and to ask ourselves what we think we see and what is the truth, such as the ways we get to grips with the everyday things of our sometimes banal lives.
Humour is also a large part of his work, sometimes obscure, sometimes obvious, but always somewhat dark, but in this confusion is what he wants us to try and work out within his work.
His paintings have taken the muted mish-mash of text word puzzles and jokes, abstracts, mutated pop images, cartoons and other disordered hybrid forms seemingly looking unfinished on purpose to trick us. But barrie jdavies states that he is no painter.
His sculptures use the every day materials that we may find in the kitchen from sticky tape, pennies, old whisky bottles, matches to blue tack and also the unused materials from the garden shed like old pieces of wood, wallpaper, plastic buckets, concrete and other found materials in skips or on the street such as walking sticks, pallets and pieces of carpet. One such sculpture which comments of the value and use of a found object is called a "disco plinth sculpture" this involves a pallet once used to transport and store things on which has been coated with glitter as if some Glam disco wizard sculptor has remixed it to dance and boogie the night away on to some psychedelic seventies funk.
His Surreal curatorial activities to date have been to take art out of the context of the gallery and placing it in the more familiar setting of the home. Such as an exhibition called "all washed up!" which was in the bathroom of his home and also the international video art festival called "The couch trip", which was situated in the in his own living room, inviting the public to show other artists contemporary video artwork on his home television played from his dvd and video player.
His photographic work has taken the viewer out into the world and shown how Barrie J Davies might mould and twist it, even for the split second that it takes to take a photograph.
One photograph which plays with a social paranoia of going to the cash point to get some money out, shows a note attached to a cash point which he has placed there which reads "he's behind you". This note has been documented and then left for a real person to discover in the non art real world and as a temporary sign it will be removed, but only with the photograph as a record of his intervention.
To top it all off Barrie J Davies has even catered for smallest of spending art collectors by introducing a "10p print", which consists of a A4 photocopy print of an enlarged ten pence coin, this has also been signed, numbered and dated by the artist.
Barrie J Davies is an artist who likes to be a part joker part truth shaman showing us the underbelly and over belly of society of which part or whole could be the truth or a lie, but it is always there to confuse and for the viewer to decide. But always in the artwork of Barrie J Davies there is always the desire just to open a space and then fill it again with a familiar something we never thought of at all to add to the unfamiliarity in our everyday lives.
Dr P Scherber is writer, philosopher and independent art critic based in Berlin Germany.