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Robert Barsamian’s Bizarro Exhibition at Conduit Gallery
March 6, 2017 - March 25, 2017
Bizarro is an exhibition of recent mixed media works by Dallas based artist, Robert Barsamian.
Known for his allegorical visual representations of worldwide political conflicts, the first generation Armenian- American artist employs symbolic imagery, pattern and visual fragments in densely layered compositions that play out ageless conflicts of predator and prey as well as aggressor and victim.
DC Comic’s 1950s antihero Bizarro first appeared in 1958 as an antagonist to Superman, and in popular culture, has come to be known as Superman’s “mirror.” As everything seen in a mirror is in reverse, what it reflects may be bizarre but is indeed factual. With this reflective motivation, Barsamian draws from darker moments in American history, creating sculptural maquettes and canvases that describe phantasmic environments that present the viewer with a holistic view of what has made America.
The works in Bizarro refer directly to specific historic events and their contemporary relevance. In Jackson’s Removal Act, Barsamian paints Native Americans on the Trail of Tears alongside a toy yo-yo, highlighting the contemporary government’s desire for re-relocation of Native American Nations; their lands now desired for their mineral properties.
In a time when immigration, cultural heritage, and many in need of refuge are so present in the news, Barsamian’s rich and complex images encourage continued growth in understanding as well as the gravity of confronting history.