David Barnett (American, b. 1946)
Miami Crypto Martini Man With Olives and Vintage Florida Villas Postcard, 2021
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26 x 15.50 in
Collage, with archival inkjet prints, Dr. Ph. Martin's acrylics, and iridescent acrylic on white wove paper mounted to rag matboard David Barnett's Miami Crypto Man series of 2001 bridges the personal memory of the artist and art history. The figure's jacket has the look of textiles, but the work is a mixed media collage. An homage to the Surrealists, particularly Rene Magritte, the work uses the medium of collage employed by the Dadaists and Surrealists to create the effect of defamiliarization. The work consists of a figure wearing a blue jacket patterned with martinis with a sand dollar head. What appears to be a blue linen jacket is painted paper with a pattern of martinis. The faceless head is made of a sand dollar, which for the artist functions as a kind of Surrealist crypto currency in Miami. The figure depicted echo Surrealist figures. The collage recalls the enigmatic work of Magritte, particularly The Son of Man from 1946. As in Magritte's painting, in which a green apple covers the man's face, the face of Barnett's figure is obscured, or replaced by the sand dollar. The familiar becomes strange. The man's overcoat and bowler hat in the Magritte painting is replaced by the Miami uniform of the linen jacket and the cryptic sand dollar head.