Tuesday, October 1, 2013

First Solo Show in 15 years. "Rolando Chang Barrero: Surface and Symbol" at UNIT 1 in Lake Worth

Rolando Chang Barrero: Surface and Symbol

Opening Reception 7:00pm-10:00pm October 25th, 2013

Musical Performances 10:30pm- 1:00am
Jean Jacket
with special guests

Lake Worth exhibition space UNIT 1 is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Rolando Chang Barrero.

Simplistic descriptions fail the oeuvre of Barrero’s work because as one approaches the complex whirl-wind of activity and energy that surround the man like a more benign haze of the Charlie Brown character “Pig-Pen”, it slowly becomes apparent that Barrero’s art is not simply embedded in the beautiful and compelling objects that he creates, but it exists also as an energy that exudes forth from him-radiating into an experiential realm that is antithetical to “objectness” itself. In fancy artspeak we would call this an “aura”, and although the word has different meanings in different milieus- it’s exciting to find proof in this day and age that objects with auras have so openly defied their supposed death knell.

Someone it seems forgot to notify Mr. Barrero that art had to be one thing or another-that painting needed to stop when performance began, that civil disobedience and community organizing would erase the legitimacy of one’s career as a guy trying to “sell stuff”. Barrero ignores all these boundaries and rules with a reckless abandon-and with the type of Joie de vivre that comes from an intuitive understanding of the order of the universe that one only finds in somebody who so clearly has figured out how to “be here now.”

But there is a dark-side, after all, to the pretty little birds and the beautiful boys, and if you care to venture below the surface into the depth of the symbol, you might find evidence of a life lived with hard lessons and hard truths. There are traces here of catastrophe, addiction, sickness and pain, and these phantasms linger behind the pretty twirl of every painted eyelash. It is those dark valleys that make every normal day so worthy of celebration, and so if one survives the trials and tribulations, the self once dissolved, fermented and distilled, might with time and care coagulate into something so beautiful as this work and the man who has made it.

It is a great pleasure to hand over the keys of UNIT1 to Mr. Barrero, I really only know that there will be a lot of stuff to look at, but I can tell you with certainty that it will be well worth the visit.

Jacques de Beaufort
Director UNIT1 exhibitions

Please join us after the opening reception for a performance by Jean Jacket, an exciting duo out of Miami recently signed with West Palm’s Decades Records.

UNIT 1 is an exhibition space and independent media production company founded by Jacques de Beaufort. The gallery showcases artists in all media working in challenging forms that exist somewhere near the EDGE or beyond it. The space also hosts special events, film screenings, performances, and happenings driven by UNIT 1 participants and friends.

The gallery is open only during events and by appointment.

For more information visit www.unit1.org and like Unit 1 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/unit1projects.

Contact:Jacques de Beaufort


1202 Lucerne Ave.Lake Worth, Florida 33460

"All art is at once surface and symbol. 
Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. 
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. 
Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows
that the work is new, complex, and vital. 
When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. 
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long
as he does not admire it. 
The only excuse for making a useless thing is thatone admires it intensely."

by Oscar Wilde (Preface to Dorian Gray)

Artist Statement by Rolando Chang Barrero

As an artist who’s career spans over 30 years, I have had the opportunity to see my work garner various pigeon holed descriptions; Activist Art, Gay Art, Bad Art, Folk Art, Angry Art, Latino Art, etc… All well warranted indeed to those who gave me such attributes.

Of my various monikers: Barbie, Jesse Helms, and ActivistArtistA, I have kept only the latter.  ActivistArtistA (activist artist in Spanish) is quite possibly the mostdescriptive of my “being,” more then of what I do- ironically the inverse is true for most people I have come to know.

My work at first glance is all surface; non-provocative in essence…it has even been called cute. If you are one so inclined to read the symbol(s), you are one of those…as Oscar Wilde states, “Those who read the symbol who do so at their peril.”

My work which has included every thing from: short films, performance art, civildisobedience, installations art, and most recently a return to painting has always held a social-political context: a context which draws from art history, legend, psychology and myth. In my work I attempt to present a totally useless artifact for the spectator to redefine and re-contextualize -if he/she so wills it, or live with a truth some cannot bear. 

Rolando Chang Barrero


Rolando Chang Barrero lives in West Palm Beach, his studio ActivistArtistA 
is located at the Boynton Beach Art District in Boynton Beach, Florida.

Visit his Art Studio on Facebook

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