• Prerna SM Jain

The emotional lines: David Barbero Domeño

David Barbero Domeño is a Spanish abstract expressionist, whose lyrical paintings are based on his philosophical thoughts.


David Barbero Domeño, self portrait, courtesy by the artist


His works are reminiscent of what Harold Rosenburg called ‘action painting’ in 1952. They are purely directed by his emotional impulses, rather than his intellectual responses or calculations. Resultantly, every line, colour and material, represent an unfiltered mind- state that become a story painted on canvas. His interdisciplinary approach provides one with a significant insight into the artist’s ‘irrational part’. He holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of Barcelona, which has helped him redefine his perceptions and thoughts. This ‘potential knowledge’ of philosophy, has often been transcribed into his work.


David Barbero Domeño, Bold Collage, courtesy by the artist


While painting, Barbero prefers using his fingers on the surface of his work as he wants to feel the tactility of the surface, this practice almost reminds one of a child-like state where our emotional responses are unfiltered. It is regressing to that state through automatism, that makes his work intriguing. Barbero, as one of his most- liked poet Fernando Pessoa says,“… know(s) how to think with emotions and to feel with intellect…”


In a conversation with the philosophical artist, where is what he had to say.


David Barbero Domeño, Certainty, courtesy by the artist


How did your journey into the arts begin?


My beginning in the arts was with poetry, a discipline that I have never stopped. It was a therapy art- form. The method of working on it was from my irrational part, which I transferred to other disciplines. I work in fields such as photography, sculpture and literature as well. I came to applying this method to painting many years later.


David Barbero Domeño, Real Abstraction, courtesy by the artist


Could you tell us more about the aesthetics of your work?


When painting the canvas, I try to have the least number of intermediaries between the paint and the canvas. I paint directly through the paint pots or with my hands. I use many materials apart from the paint itself, such as- plant soil, brushes, fabrics, branches and aluminium. My way of working consists of transferring my emotions to the canvas without prior reasoning. I try to ensure that reason does not affect the aesthetics of the canvas. As I have a degree in philosophy, I leave the reason to write my philosophical texts. I am of the opinion that whoever best manages, knows and understands their emotions is more virtuous. My artistic work helps me manage my irrational part.


David Barbero Domeño, Expansion, courtesy by the artist


Which are some of the artists who have influenced your work and why?


My inspirations come from paintings, like that of - Joan Miró, Jackson Pollock, Rauschenberg or abstract expressionist works. From poetry, which also influences my painting, Fernando Pessoa, Alejandra PIzarnik, TS Eliot. The main reason they inspire me is that they are able to express their emotions directly and clearly, the emotions can be felt in their works. The way of working with art or concepts is artisanal and instinctive but with control.


David Barbero Domeño, Eclecticism, courtesy by the artist


How have you utilized your time during this lockdown?


During this confinement, I have drawn and painted on paper, in a small format, works relating my ceramic moldings, poetry and literature writing, while adding musical compositions to them. For me all disciplines interact, they could not be there without each other. Confinement has served me to penetrate more into myself, my emotions and senses.


David Barbero Domeño, Fusion, courtesy by the artist


Any upcoming projects or shows?


In October 2020, I will exhibit in a collective exhibition at the Louvre in Paris. I´m starting to carry out a project of mixing photography and plastic arts. For a long time I have been relating a photographic work called the ‘City Without Faces'. I want to compose collages of photos and painting, I am doing some urban works and I hope that they are expressive.

Some of the Barbero’s urban works and philosophical texts can now be seen on his website.


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