Moisés Barrios








20×30,5 cm


Acrylic on print

The work of Guatemalan artist Moisés Barrios is almost entirely based on the banana plant and the memory of banana-related conflicts in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to the artist, this is an important memory to conserve because it is at the root of many of the conflicts which are currently devastating the region. Barrios uses the symbol of the banana to root any political, social or cultural issue in the Latin American reality. Having lived in Costa Rica for 8 years, the Guatemalan artist demonstrates strong knowledge of Central America. Barrios has produced installations, sculptures and paintings, but he is above all a master of paper-based works, especially printing. Graphic design and pop art icons have a strong presence in his work, combined with distinctly Central American themes. His experience as an advertising agent is evident from his concise, direct and comical style. In this piece Barrios has painted banana patterning – a yellow background with brown markings – in acrylic over an old printing plate showing various primate species, including the orangutan, the macaque, the ape, the chimpanzee and the gorilla. The banana pattern makes the animals all alike and leaves only their outline, almost turning them into decorative figures. Here Barrios seems to suggest that the unresolved conflicts in banana-growing go back to our very origins, maybe even to the era of our primate ancestors.