LONDON EVENTS – Gpstudio unveils Kyle Barnes exhibition in The Arch Window
Gpstudio is drawing crowds outside The Arch Window – the unique exhibition space at its Southwark offices – thanks to its extraordinary new Faces exhibition of hyperrealist painter, Kyle Barnes’s work.
The design consultants selected four huge, never-before-seen portraits by Barnes to exclusively unveil as the latest exhibit in their curated window, which is set within a large railway arch and has been nicknamed “the mini Tate” by art lovers, after the iconic gallery nearby.
The team is passionate about encouraging, nurturing and celebrating creative talent, so they curate work by a wide variety of new and established designers, artists, illustrators and photographers, transforming the pavement outside into a free gallery, for the public to enjoy.
And Barnes has attracted throngs of people outside the window, with his exquisitely detailed paintings of faces smeared in brightly coloured paints or doused in water, titled Luke, Kyle, Matt and The Empress.
Winning the prestigious Arch Window slot is the latest in a slew of successes for the young Irishman, who has been awarded The Towry Prize at The National Open Art Competition; exhibited at the celebrated Pallant House Gallery in Chichester and, most recently, been presented with the KPMG Young Artist Award at The RUA Belfast.
He is interested in the process of painting, manipulating the material and working to its distinct qualities, while paying heed to differing textures in skin and how this is conveyed through tonal value and colour temperature.
Barnes is inspired by visual identity and the way it effects our perception and interaction with each other. The combination of expression, eye contact, concealment, colour and texture make for a varied involvement with each of his works.
He explains: “In many ways our face is a landscape. Years of experiences etch their mark on us physically as well as mentally, shaping who we are and moulding us as people. “Our faces tell the story of how we live, the emotion in our eyes the result of the journey we’ve undertaken to bring us to the present. Our skin is a timeline of our lifestyle and choices.
“We’re connected. These are connections which make us one and the same but yet unique as we grow and are shaped, pulled and pushed in many different ways to make us who we are at this present point in time.”
Hordes of artists compete for the opportunity to be featured in The Arch Window, since it was launched in 2008. Previous talents selected by the gpstudio judging panel include GNI Projects’ Broken Heart, an ingenious light installation which interacted with the viewer by playing on perspective, forming either a broken or solid heart depending on the onlooker’s point of view.
Another memorable winner was Jessica Meek, whose extraordinary window combined digital and hand-crafted pieces, shimmering behind the window with Swarovski crystals, inspired by the Islamic patterns of the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.