From bright colors to geometric shapes, Rafael Barrios’ Mind’s Eye brings optical illusions to life at Art of the World Gallery
BARRIOS SUCCESSFULLY EVOKES THE AESTHETIC OF VIRTUALISM THOUGH HIS FINE ART TO TRICK THE EYE OF THE VIEWER AT HOUSTON’S BLUE-CHIP GALLERY: ART OF THE WORLD GALLERY
HOUSTON – On the evening of Wednesday, August 29, Houston’s critically-acclaimed Art of the World Gallery held an opening reception for Venezuelan-American artist Rafael Barrios and his exhibition: Mind’s Eye. With the artist in attendance, guests had the opportunity of having a first-hand look of Barrios’ 27 vividly colored sculptures made of lacquered steel. Guests were amazed by the way the works dynamically manipulated and tricked the eye. When one first sees Barrios’ works, the sculptures give away a 3-D essence, resembling carefully stacked geometric objects. Nonetheless the artist simply shapes planar sheets of steel, altering the viewer’s stance in space and in time. In fact, the artist himself has coined a term for this aesthetic – Virtualism.
Barrios was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1947 to Venezuelan parents and has maintained his Latin American roots ever since. With a devoted passion for art, he studied Fine Arts in Canada, U.S., and Venezuela, and currently has his art studios in the U.S., Venezuela and France. Throughout his career, the artist has exposed his work in various galleries, museums and public spaces, such as an exhibition on New York’s Park Avenue in 2012. He has also worked closely with the pioneer of kinetic and optical art Carlos Cruz-Diez.
Making sure the avid art aficionados didn’t go hungry, trendy and upscale Mediterranean restaurant Fig & Olive presented a chef’s selection of light bites at the event. With a variety of signature crostini, guests had the splendor of treating themselves to succulent flavors, such as Manchego Fig with Marcona Almond, Smoked Salmon with Crème Fraiche and Caviar, Tomato Burrata with Pesto, amongst others – all incorporated with the restaurant’s integral ingredient: olive oil.
Following the early evening soirée, Art of the World Gallery directors Mauricio Vallejo and Liliana Molina and 30 of the gallery’s VIPs departed for a sumptuous dining experience at Fig & Olive, recently opened in The Galleria earlier this year. Nestled within chic decor de Provence and trendy ambience, the group indulged in traditional dishes from French, Italian and Spanish coasts, reinvented with a contemporary twist and paired with wines from the Mediterranean regions. From Beef Carpaccio with Spiced Tomato Compote, Truffle Risotto with Organic Wild Mushroom and Parmesan Crisp, Citrus Glazed Scottish Salmon with Cauliflower Couscous, to Olive Oil Cake soaked in Moroccan Syrup, the night assumed a vivid and resoundingly elegant celebration of modern and contemporary Latin American art.
As they took in the tropical colors and dynamic geometries of the sculptures, guests included artist Rafael Barrios, Art of the World Gallery owners Liliana Molina and Mauricio Vallejo, international philanthropist and political activist Joanne King Herring, Houston’s new Honorary Consul General of Sweden Astrid Marklund, Misi and Ali Moshiri, Michelin Newall, Wanda and Federico Baptista, Mario Gudmundsson, Tammie Kahn, Holly and Bill Paull, and Beth Wolff.