Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1962) to a Cuban mother and Argentinean father, she currently lives and works in Paris, France,
“I cannot say, like most artists do, that I loved drawing since I was a child. I remember having a hard time during art lessons at school. Maybe having an incredibly art-gifted brother was sort of traumatic for me… maybe I wanted to excel in other subjects like maths or languages because this was what “brilliant girls” did. Art came to me in my late forties, with this freedom that comes late in life, when we have understood that it is time to show who we really are, what we want… when we no longer care what people think about us. I love being “an emerging artist in her fifties” . It’s a new challenge for a new generation of women that bloom at an age when their predecessors started waning. I would like to make a statement, breaking old codes and cliches that say that you must become an artist in your younger years. Now I breathe art, I eat art, I sleep art! I would love that my work could become a testimony for a new generation of women!”
Uncompromising is the word that maybe best describes Cristina Barr. She allows herself the freedom to paint uninhibited, flirting with figurative as well as abstract expressionism. Her exhuberant brushstrokes and vibrant colors reign in her portraits, in her worlds always inhabited by human beings. Women mainly. Conscientiously, and with a great sense for beauty, she portrays models to appeal the beholder, at first sight. Yet, this is not the main motive of her art. Unconscientiously, she moves away from the exact copy of reality to express emotional intimacy, spiritual, or metaphysical states of mind. Layer after layer of paint to enter the psychological space of the subjects,- their psyche and the world around them that is transformed by their own appreciation of reality, in an interplay between figurative and the gestural looseness of expressionism.
Vivi Julliand – Founder & Curator – Nordelta Art Gallery – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Her work explores our times. She is currently working on three axes:
- Je pose, donc je suis ( I pose, therefore I exist) Our individualistic, pleasure-driven existence seems to be justified only as part of the “posing culture” on social media. For this series of grand format portraits, her “muses” are not established fashion icons but just unknown young people striving for their fleeting moment of glory on Instagram, creating a performance of “self”. The models thus reveal their feelings: self-possession, doubt, this assertiveness that comes to them feeling the power of their beauty, but they all share a common certainty: the awareness that their “fame” is short-lived, and that they are as fragile as sitting ducks. This “visually promiscuous” series scrutinizes the performative aspect of our lives, and also, the voyeuristic aspect of how we are experiencing other people.
- Futuro de un pasado pluscuamperfecto! A series of paintings intended to shock, raise people’s concern on social issues and mainly on climate change, the planet, as our only home, in danger. Her works in this series are sometimes the product of her imagination – like coming out of experiences lived in dreams. What the spectator sees might seem tragical, yet, it is embodied of a profound beauty…because after the tragedy, there is always hope- because the human being grows from the ashes resulting in an epiphany, a new road to a better self. In this series, her work has both abstract and figurative elements, to portray real elements that tangle with the ethereal.
- Cosa ‘e minas! “This phrase is used in a pejorative way, by some men in Argentina, to talk about the trivial things, they believe, women do or enjoy doing, like having “a crisis” when one nail chips off before a rdv, or spending days window-shopping till they find the right dress for a party. Being a feminist myself, knowing that women nowadays engage in serious causes, I decided to ironically “play the game” and portray these “cosa ‘e minas (women’s stuff). Because when you are sure of who you are, of what you do, you do not feel ashamed of your feminine part. On the contrary, you cherish it!”
- (Previously, portraits linked to literary works of English Literature Classics, embodying personal imagery or collective symbolism. They reflect her ever-lasting love for books and her former career as an English teacher.
Her paintings have been exhibited in France, Argentina, USA and Qatar.
1986: Instituto Nacional del Profesorado en Lenguas Vivas. Diploma: Teacher of English as a Foreign Language.
2003/2004: University of Bath, England. Master in Management of Educational Organizations.
2007/2008: Workshop in Visual Arts. Asociación Amigos del Bellas Artes. Buenos Aires. Argentina
2013/2018: Student under Greek painter Anna Maria Tsakali. Paris-France.
2015/2017: Workshops in Sculpture in clay and bronze under French sculptor Juliette Lanos.
2017: UAL Central St Martin’s. London, UK. Expressive Painting Workshop under Polish painter Ewa Gargulinska.
2018: * Musée d’Arts Décoratifs. Paris, France. Workshop in Oil Painting under Uruguayan painter Miguel Nuñez.
* Workshops in Life Drawing and Painting under Argentinean Painter Edgar Saillen. Paris – France
2020: February 8/19 –Galería Juana de Arte – Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2020: April 4/10 – Lisbona Contemporanea. Lisbon, Portugal.
2020: May 29/30 – FIABCN – Barcelone International Art Fair , Spain
2020: January – New York Art Center- New York, USA
2019: November. Works exhibited at the conference by Spanish fashion designer, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, at Nordelta Art Gallery. Buenos Aires. Argentina.
2019: November – Qatar International Art Fair – Doha, Qatar
2019: May- Arts au Jardin. Ile de France.
2019: March – Nordelta Art Gallery. Buenos Aires-Argentina
2019: Ombres et Lumières. Mairie du Vésinet- Ile de France
2018: 40ème Salon des Arts – Montesson-France
2018: Journées des Artistes – Le Vésinet – France
2018: Wood Cottage – Le Vésinet – France
2017: Portes Ouvertes Artistes – Le Vésinet – France
2016: Centre Culturel Brassens – Le Mesnil-le-Roi – France
2015: Estilo Pilar (Interiors & Decoration Fair) Buenos Aires-Argentina
Private and Institutional Collections
* Katara Cultural Center – Doha, Qatar.
* Basselier Jarzaguet – Agence d’Architecture – Paris, France.
* Chacra “El Molino” – Pecanes PC – Entre Ríos – Argentina.