Lluis Barba’s work playfully appropriates art history masterpieces, and reworks them using references taken from pop culture. The artist is interested in constructing absurd, revisionist histories by merging the past with the present. In his images, highly recognizable scenarios from art history become a black-and-white backdrop for present-day figures depicted in colour, which are digitally compiled to create the final photograph. Through an atemporal interplay between past and present, the figure is dislocated from its natural environment.
These paradoxical montages acknowledge the cannon of art in a fragmented manner by infusing iconic imagery with current-day themes such as: alienation, globalization, mass consumption, and the loss of individual identity. The artist’s manipulation of these references is intended to demystify typical associations with fictional heroes, celebrity culture, and stereotypes that exist within contemporary society. Camera-yielding tourists are an ever-present figure within Barba’s work, alluding to photography’s role in preserving and interpreting art and the everyday. In these works, the camera defines points of interest for the viewer, further emphasizing how photography delineates the world around us.