Raphaël Barontini (b.1984, France; works and lives in Saint-Denis, France) is influenced by processes of creolization and the philosophies of French Caribbean thinkers. He intentionally depicts real and imaginative heroes from Africa and the Caribbean to present narratives that are under-represented in the dominant history of art. Barontini’s installations become site specific, and his works draw attention to architecture by obscuring its legibility and orthodox arrangement, while reconstructing and sharing a sort of counter-history.
Barontini’s practice involves bold silkscreens and digital prints that embellish a variety of materials including flags, banners, pennants, curtains, tapestries, capes and more. His primary medium is painting of which he uses to question the classical codes of the bi-dimensional medium. His works are immersive, and have been activated by live performances. They are also often creatively installed as standing or suspended objects. The large scenographies enable him to engage the spectrum of classical painting. The subjects, patterns, and archival material draw attention to postcolonial rhetorical questions and criticisms that confront history and emphasize its present day relevance within large scale streams of information and media.
Barontini has exhibited work in galleries and institutions globally including MAC VAL Museum, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, The Pill, New Art Exchange Museum and the SCAD Museum of Art. He has also participated in international biennales in Bamako, Casablanca, Lima and Thessaloniki.
He was the 2020 artist in residence in Singapore for LVMH Métiers d’Art.