feature: ‘black romanticism’ – british painter barka touches on gentrification in london with latest art series

October 12, 2015

Take a look at the new work of London visual artist Barka – a new series called ‘Black Romanticism’. Barka’s camp say, “‘Black Romanticism’ is a series of paintings on discarded and abandoned glass windows and doors, including some frames over 60 years old. ‘Black Romanticism’ is symbolic of the disposable nature that rapid social change brings as debates on regeneration and gentrification grips the capital.” They add, “With a keen interest in architecture, fashion and interior design, Black Romanticism pays homage to Turner’s 1798-1845 iconic vanilla sky studies, drawing from daily observations of the idyllic moments when the sun sets on London, mixing yellows, pinks and purples to create dreamlike realities. Amidst the gentrification, a Life long Londoner, Barka feels that he is becoming a stranger in his beloved city. Alongside the southern bank of the Thames, once an abundance of corner shops and pubs, has been invaded by towering cranes, scaffolding poles on every block and road work signs obstructing nearly every junction. New buildings penetrate the sky as London ascends the throne as the cultural capital of the world…”But where does it leave me and our shared memories? Where is my place? My home? Is home still where the heart is? He says.” See some art from the series below, and see it up close at Barka’s solo exhibition at the Copeland Gallery (London) October 16th – 18th.

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor