barry x ball + matthew barney dual dual portrait
barry x ball + matthew barney dual dual portrait barry x ball + matthew barney dual dual portrait
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

  • Marvelous. Take that, Damien Hirst.

    Mort d'Urban says:
  • Spear me the thought!

    friendly says:
  • awesome , completely multi dimesnional

    patrickEnter says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

(2 articles)


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
493,010 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample