Moisés Barrios


Beuys, Mao, from the series Bananópolis






25 x 26,5 cm


Acrylic on advert published in the magazine Artforum

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-skin patterned butterflies over the invitation to a contemporary art gallery in Beijing, printed in the prestigious magazine Artforum. Through this intervention the artist addresses international contemporary art, especially that which is exhibited in big metropolises, and calls attention to the marginal space which Central American art occupies in the global art market.