Inspired by basic elements, such as line, form, and light, Barrios starts his work on a new piece with many simple rough sketches of potential ideas with figures and objects. After connecting with models to recreate those loose ideas and photographing them, the artist gains total control when it comes to interpreting an image. Choosing oil on canvas, graphite or charcoal, and watercolor on paper as his preferred mediums to work with, Barrios creates mixed media drawings and paintings using grayscale or dreamy pastel palette.
“As for my style, I believe it’s a process that has evolved and continues to evolve with every piece.”
Exploring concepts of time, space, and movement, Barrios questions the limits of various mediums: a surreal subject matter has been positioned in loose fields of paint, blurred into the abstract landscape, while their lifeless postures create uncanny compositions. With a strong light source, the artist emphasizes this drama in the scene, adding mystery to the ominous imagery. Johan Barrios’ artwork invokes the haunting feeling in the viewer, making them pay closer attention to the hyper-realistic, though unusual and surreal, details in the composition, leaving them wondering whether they are looking at the photography, drawing, or painting.