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Artist Talk with Raphaël Barontini

Moudy Gallery - The Art Galleries at TCU

Artist Talk with Raphaël Barontini
Wednesday, February 26, 1-2 pm
Location: TCU Moudy Fine Arts Building, room 224

Join us on Wednesday, February 26 from 1-2 pm in Moudy North building, room 224, for an artist talk with visiting artist Raphael Barontini. Barontini will talk about his creative process, his upcoming exhibition "Caribbean Fantasia" at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, and his current artist residency with Louis Vuitton!

Join us again on Friday, February 28 from 6-8 p.m. for the opening reception for Caribbean Fantasia by Raphaël Barontini!


 The Art Galleries at TCU are pleased to present Caribbean Fantasia featuring new work by artist Raphaël Barontini. This exhibition runs February 28 – May 2, 2020 at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts and will open with a cowboy parade and reception for the artist on Friday, February 28th, from 6-8 p.m.

Paris-based artist Raphaël Barontini uses photographic imagery on textiles to create installations that conjure spectacle, celebration and ritual. From large-scale colorful banners and flags to items of customized clothing, his vibrant printed fabric work combines pattern and portraiture that is both eye-catching and alluring. His juxtaposition of seductive surfaces - - playful fringe and tassels against silky drapery and soft leather - - creates a dynamic gallery environment that suggests performance and improvisation.

In using pre-existing imagery Barontini references the collage work of artists like Hannah Höch or Romare Bearden, and his selection of particular photographic portraits points to his ongoing investigation of African Diaspora, of people and populations overlooked or misrepresented. His work engages with and challenges dominant iconographies of colonial interests. He often draws attention to black hero figures in French history, and as such, his contemporary re-presentation of such historic images explores issues of representation and race.

Barontini is particularly influenced by processes of creolization and hybridity and the philosophies of Caribbean thinkers, such as Édouard Glissant and Stuart Hall who believed there is not a homogenous cultural identity for diasporic people. He also considers his own family history which is infused with personal experiences of participating in community parades and carnival and tracks a path from Réunion Island (French Territory in the Indian Ocean) to the Caribbean and from Italy to Paris.

For TCU, Barontini presents an immersive panorama at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts where visitors will be surrounded by large-scale fabric works, accompanied by an audio piece commissioned by hip hop musician Mike Ladd. Inspired by Barontini’s research on Haitian GeneralToussaint Louverture (1743-1803) and other leaders of the Haitian Revolution (1791–1804), the exhibition engages with a precise historical moment - - the Battle of Vertières - - and the fight independence from French colonial rule. Barontini considers equestrian portraiture as a symbol of identity and power, and in the context of Fort Worth, reflects on the history of the American cowboy, or more specifically, cowboys of color. Understood in this way Caribbean Fantasia represents an imaginary vision of a cavalcade for freedom.

To celebrate the opening of Caribbean Fantasia, Barontini is collaborating with the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth and has invited cowboys of color ride to Fort Worth Contemporary Arts from the TCU School of Art, located in Moudy North Building. The cowboys will wear items of custom clothing created by Barontini, which, after the ride, will be installed in the gallery to become part of the on-going exhibition. The parade by cowboys of color is a living tribute to such figures who have been erased from history, but who should be now be reconsidered and explored. 

About the artist: Raphaël Barontini was born in France in 1984. He studied at the Hunter College of Art in New York and graduated from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux arts in Paris in 2009. He has exhibited work in galleries and museums throughout the world, including Brazil, France, Haiti, Mali, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. He has also participated in international biennales in Bamako, Casablanca, Lima and Thessaloniki. The artist recently presented a solo-exhibition at SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, GA in October 2019. Barontini is represented by The Pill in Turkey; by Espai Tactel in Spain; and by Mariane Ibrahim Gallery in Chicago, USA. While usually based in Paris, Barontini is currently living in Singapore as part of a year-long artist residency organized by LVMH, the multinational company that is home to many famous luxury brands including Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. Caribbean Fantasiaat Fort Worth Contemporary Arts is the artist’s first exhibition in Texas. www.raphaelbarontini.com

About the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame: The primary objective of the Museum and Hall of Fame is to offer the visitor a true and complete historical perspective of the people and activities that built the unique culture of the American West. The work of artists who documented the people and events of the time through journals, photographs and other historical items are part of this new collection. Founded by Jim and Gloria Austin in 2001, the Museum acknowledges the contributions of individuals of Hispanic, Native, European, Asian and African descent in the settlement of the Western American Frontier. The National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame is located in the Historic Stockyards at 2029 N. Main, Fort Worth, TX 76164. For more information please visit www.cowboysofcolor.org or call 817-534-8801. Museum and Hall of Fame opening hours are Wednesday – Friday 12-4 pm, and Saturday 12-5 pm.

Raphaël Barontini will be in Fort Worth February 21 – March 1 and is available for press interviews in person or by phone. To schedule an interview, please contact Sara-Jayne Parsons at s.j.parsons@tcu.eduor by phone at 817-257-2707


About Fort Worth Contemporary Arts

Fort Worth Contemporary Arts (FWCA) is a satellite exhibition space located a few blocks from the School of Art, on the edge of the TCU campus. Situated on West Berry Street, a busy urban corridor, this 2,000-square-foot gallery is TCU’s public-facing art venue. It offers a great opportunity for students, faculty, staff and alumni to engage with the Dallas-Fort Worth community.

At FWCA, the curatorial focus revolves around national and international artists at different stages of their careers. It often includes work that has never been shown before or that is made on-site during a residency period, with direct support from the Art Galleries at TCU. This concentration means students have close access to high-quality art and can critically engage with artists on a one-on-one basis in the gallery. 

Gallery Hours at Fort Worth Contemporary Art are Wednesday to Saturday, 12 – 5 pm, and by appointment. Admission is free. For more information about this exhibition, images for press, or details about other activities of The Art Galleries at TCU please visit the Galleries website www.theartgalleries.tcu.edu or call 817-257-2588.

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