barry x ball + matthew barney dual dual portrait
original content
feb 09, 2012
barry x ball + matthew barney dual dual portrait

‘bxb dual-dual portrait’ by barry x ball
italian portoro marble, portuguese gold marble, stainless steel, various other metals stone
shaft assemblies: each 55 x 5-1/4 x 8 inches
stone figures: each 22 x 5-1/4 x 8 inches

barry x ball: bxb dual-dual portrait
galerie nathalie obadia, paris, france
march 17th, 2012 until may 16th, 2012

american artist barry x ball has created ‘bxb dual-dual portrait’, a two headed, two faced, mirrored sculptural work featuring
his own face and that of fellow artist matthew barney. the carved marble works seem to have been impaled by a javelin,
entering at the center of the skull from having been shot from the ceiling. the two toned busts are positioned in such a way
that the two cut short figures seem to converse with one another, pierced by their steel support system in a moment of tension
and intimacy. both the portugese gold marble and the portoro marble busts are suspended in air by a funnel-like cable system,
enabling the viewer to witness the eyes and mouths of both figures, both opened and closed, alternately, as their faces seem to be
contorted mid-scream. the work is a reinterpretation of italian mannerist ceremonial armour, formed in the baroque and european
classical sculptural style. each figure is both hyperrealistic and obsessively ornate in nature.

the composite figures richly embossed, in a manner reminiscent of late-renaissance milanese parade armor, with a cornucopia
of silhouetted motifs: abrahamic ecclesiastical symbols, animals, decorative flourishes, and protuberant, warty, half-spheres…
differing surface treatments keyed to the corresponding swag-draped corporeal flay strata: a glistening sheen for the splayed entrails,
miniature horizontal flutes for the mid-level viscera, and gnarled, ridged, sfumato-esque soft-focus ornamental relief for the epidermis,
with eyes, oral features, and the mutilated face gleaming, respectively, with a moist, lachrymal / salivary / mucosal polish,
with mannered, attenuated, crown-like cranium-top shatter-burst exit-wounds
.’ -barry x ball

the portraits seem to mirror one another while the color, shape and reality of the individuals portrayed form their difference. 

the portugese gold marble has been sculpted with swirling shapes which seem to rise from the stone surface

the veins observed in the portoro marble work allot the piece added dimension

the two portraits seem to be frozen in a moment of both complete calm and total agony

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barry X ball (2 articles)

nov 19, 2009
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