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Bernat Barris, Unveiling the Beauty of Non-Places

Interview

Bernat Barris, Paintings

Born in 1986, Catalan artist Bernat Barris makes ordinary places special, sprinkles in some beauty. He also points out the little details hidden in places we usually ignore on the edges of the city.

 

What drew you to explore non-places* in your art, and how do they become the focal point of your Rodalies Nord series?


I've always been fascinated by those spaces of circulation, transit, and anonymity we just pass through without really noticing. Marc Augé calls them 'non-places' because they're not about history or personal stories. In my Rodalies Nord series, I wanted to show the hidden beauty of these everyday non-places. I see them as blank canvases that reflect all the changes happening around us in the city.




How does your artistic vision transform seemingly mundane non-places into aesthetically rich scenes, and what effects do you hope to generate through your brushwork and design?


The 19th-century romantic landscape painters really captivated me. When I'm painting, I try to make ordinary places special, sprinkle in some beauty. Even if they seem abandoned, I leave traces of constant movement. I aim to capture the essence of these non-places inhabited by solitude and shaped by the transition from use to disuse. I like exploring the tensions between beauty and ugliness, tradition and modernity.


Your Rodalies Nord series delves into the periphery and suburbs. What inspired you to find beauty in these seemingly unattractive spaces, and how do they challenge traditional perceptions of the city?


I get inspired by the outskirts and suburbs. There's this richness and contrast in these places that people usually ignore. Even though they're important for getting around, these non-places make you rethink what you know about the city and make you notice the little details in these empty spaces.



Your Granollers series explores your connection to Granollers. Can you share more about how your personal experiences and emotions mix with your artistic exploration of this city?


Bernat Barris, Granollers

Granollers is more than just my hometown; it's an emotional anchor for me. In my art, I try to capture the joy in these forgotten landscapes and convey the importance and beauty in them through my gaze. I see the city like a big picture I'm painting, telling my own story through art pieces.




Could you give us a glimpse into your journey as an artist? What led you to prioritize your artistic career, and how do you balance your passion for painting with your role as a teacher?



Bernat Barris

I discovered my love for art early on and graduated in Fine Arts in 2009. I started focusing more on my art in 2015, joining an art residency in Barcelona Academy of Art. Now, besides painting, I’m a plein-air landscape teacher in Barcelona Academy of Arts and the traditional drawing teacher in the Animation and VFX degree in La Salle University. I try to keep teaching because it makes me aware of my process as a painter. The same I teach them with, I can apply to myself.




Conversation inspired by the insights of Sergio Fuentes Milà, Dra Roser Masip Boladeras, David Sánchez Rueda.

* Ref.: Marc Augé , Non lieux. Introduction à une anthropologie de la surmodernité, 1992)

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