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Paul Barbu is a London based visual artist whose work is focused on contemporary conceptual art. His main forms of expression are sculpture, installation art, drawing and illustration

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ABOUT ME

Since childhood, I felt an intense fascination with myths and legends. They seem to come from far away, from ancient times. To me, myths are like faded dreams, unfamiliar to the modern man, hiding a deep, powerful meaning that was transmitted over the ages. Even if myths undergo formal transformations, their core remains unchanged. It is this immutable essence of the myth that interests me, particularly in relation to modern concepts that the myth might inhabit – advertising, technology, capitalism, or consumerism.

 

Why do I feel that this subject is so pressing?


As scientific understanding has grown, so our world has become dehumanised. Man feels isolated in the cosmos because he no longer identifies as part of nature. We have stripped all things of their mystery and numinosity and nothing seems holy anymore. I believe that only through storytelling – telling stories about ourselves, about the others, about the world itself – can we redesign a mental and emotional space in which we feel comfortable in. Myths make us feel more at home in the world, creating an invisible connection with our ancestors and, generally, with our past.

My work, and my installation artwork, in particular, is a way of telling stories. Telling stories is one of the characteristic behaviours of human beings. Humans have been telling stories to each other for ages, to transmit information about the past, to map the future and to assess the present. It helps us explore our identity and define our values.

If you are thinking of art as a language,  then my works’ subject is the importance of reiteration. I believe that myths and stories work as mirrors of our societies and if we look carefully into these mirrors, we can extract and apply their moral teachings to modern problems. We can even explain these modern problems by framing them as myths.

BIOGRAPHY

Born in 1986 in Romania, Paul Barbu has been interested in artistic expression since childhood. He has always loved to draw, to create objects from different materials, to take photos, and to think about innovative ways in which he could use otherwise ordinary objects to create something unexpected. Paul studied maths and computer science in high-school, but when he enrolled in university, it seemed natural to combine his love of arts with his interest in science, by choosing Architecture School.

Paul has been studying and working with forms, proportions, light, and structure for the past ten years. His architecture training instilled in him a certain discipline of proportions and his eye has been trained to see mathematical relations between objects. As an Architecture student, he became acquainted with the works of Carlo Scarpa, Tadao Ando, Santiago Calatrava and Alvaro Siza.

 

While working as an architect, Paul observed that functionality and practicality dominated most of the projects he was assigned to, while the aesthetic side was often disregarded or kept to a minimum level. At one point, he felt restricted by this rigid approach and decided to explore more creative ways of expressing his ideas. However, he greatly values this phase of his professional development because the practice of architecture made him ponder on issues relating to the use of space or the way in which the choice of material can impact a project. It also gave him a sense of the intimate structure of everything that has a form. The insights he gained as an architect inform the way he organises his projects as an artist.

Although Paul has role models who contribute to his artistic evolution, he tries not to dwell too much on their work, as he strives to find his own unique voice. He finds inspiration in everyday life, by paying attention to objects and places, interacting with people, and feeding his visual curiosity constantly.

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