Raphaël Barontini’s (born in France in 1984, and currently lives and works in Saint-Denis, France) has developed a singular and bold pictorial work, moving from a classical practice on canvas to large-scale textile and volume pieces that can be performative.
He questions the portrait and the symbolism of representations in an aesthetic of collage that combines photography, silk-screen prints and digital prints. His works take the form of flags, banners, hangings, tapestries or even ceremonial costumes such as capes. His large scenographies and performances allow us to apprehend the different faces of his production.
The medium of painting enables the artist to question the codes of classical art history, while developing a language with rich and colorful contemporary techniques.
The subjects, motifs and archival materials he uses draw attention to rhetorical and postcolonial issues. It confronts these with the historical narratives that still dominate the history of cultures or territories that have experienced slavery or colonization. The artist proposes other narratives than those commonly disseminated and recreates a "counter-history" sometimes marked by fantasy. He has chosen to depict and present heroes, real or imaginary, from Africa and the Caribbean. Raphaël Barontini is influenced by the processes of creolization and the philosophies of West Indian thinkers such as Edouard Glissant.
His thoughts on the encounter and transformation of imaginaries and cultures as a source of unexpectedness and creation directly support his artistic matrix.
Raphaël Barontini's work has been exhibited in institutions around the world, including the SCAD Museum of Art (Savannah, USA), MAC VAL (Vitry-sur-Seine, France), MO.CO (Montpellier, France), Museum of African Diaspora (San Francisco, USA), New Art Exchange Museum (Nottingham, USA).
He has also participated in the international biennials of Bamako, Mali, Casablanca, Morocco, Lima, Peru, and Thessaloniki, Greece.
In 2020, he was chosen by LVMH Métiers d'Art to complete a residency in Singapore.