Ana Teresa Barboza is one of those artists that you just cannot fit all of her work into a single discussion. She is also that type of artist whose practice is so robust that you start second guessing your own.
Do I make enough work?
Should I be spending more time in the studio?
The answers to these questions really depends on you and your confidence and sense of self. A great friend of mine who makes incredible sculpture, Jim Osman once said to me, "hey, if you can get in the studio for 15 minutes a day, that is a practice". That has stuck with me for more than a decade. Still, seeing Barboza's work will make even the most prolific artist a little uneasy.
And the work is GOOD.
I see her use of a variety of photographic and textile based conventions that she just twists and bends and integrates in fantastic ways.
This show taught us a few things. We always add up our own takeaways from our broadcasts and learn from them. A big one here was how to distill a body of work down to a few important points and focus on those. In the past with artists who have diverse practices we have tried to cover it all and the whole focus scatters. With Barboza, we stuck to a couple of themes. We thought about the nature of the materials and the relationships she creates with them. We thought about deconstructing those images and tendencies related back to the source; a kind of symbiotic relation to some degree. That focus allowed a more meaningful exchange with the work.
Talking to you about this work in simple language is important to us. Art criticism that uses a more simple approach is more valuable in our opinion because it reaches more people. In our culture, we need that.
Another thing I learned from this show is that Peruvian Rum is fantastic. Plantation Vintage Rum was the drink of choice for this show and I must say... yes. It is however a little tough to get through 90 minutes of drinking rum and keeping my head about me. I find that the alcohol choices for our show reveal things to us that are new...similar to the art choices. We are learning every week on several layers.