Raphaël Barontini is featured in the most recent issue of DAMN Magazine.
Race, place, power, and prejudice. The work of French artist Raphaël Barontini deals with some fundamental questions. And he is doing it on his terms, uninhibited by any of the constraints restricting contemporary political discourse. More gentle than insolent, the graceful handling of his subject matter makes him one of the few artists of colour confounding France’s defiantly peculiar embrace of race.
“When it comes to race, the French don’t like to engage with the topic, and the art world in particular, exists in a sort of bubble. It can survive with little connection to other global trends and movements. There is certainly the start of something which is exciting – particularly amongst younger artists of immigrant parents. But when I was a student, there wasn’t a lot happening, most likely because the schools were run by people who had never been part of a mixed or coloured reality.”