In 2013, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art hosted the first US solo exhibition by Barnaby Barford. The exhibition was curated by Alison Byrne, Director of Exhibitions and Education at MOCA, and Andrée Cooke, Independent Curator based in London. The show featured a survey of Barford’s sculptural works exploring and celebrating the human condition, usually with a sinister or sardonic theme.
Barford’s work draws a portrait of our contemporary lives with an ironic choice of medium. “MOCA is delighted to introduce Barford to new audiences in the United States,” says MOCA’s Alison Byrne, who has been following Barford’s work for several years. “Viewers from all backgrounds can relate to his themes, fostering self-awareness as well as appreciation for contemporary art. A large part of MOCA’s mission.” A kitsch figure of a 19th century peasant boy becomes a 20th century teenage thug in a hoodie; rustic maidens dancing on a bed of roses brandish guns; a charming scene of a Victorian family shares a meal of copious buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken.