I reference my large collection of Mexican and Guatemalan folk art – masks, carved wooden animals, papier mâché figures, and toys – to create one-of-a-kind pastel on sandpaper paintings and limited-edition photographs. My work combines reality and fantasy to depict dreamlike personal narratives. The Black Paintings series of pastel-on-sandpaper paintings grew directly from an earlier series, Domestic Threats. Both series use cultural objects as surrogates for human beings acting in mysterious, highly-charged narratives. In the Black Paintings the figures (actors) now take central stage. All background details, furniture, rugs, etc. are eliminated and are replaced by intense dark black pastel.
The Ancestors was created by artist Barbara Rachko in 2013. This art piece is a Chalk, Drawings / Sketch, Folk Art, Masks, Paintings, Paper Art, Pastel, Photography artwork. The style of this artwork is best described as Fine Art, Realism, Surrealism, Symbolism. The genre portrayed in this piece of art is Animals, Art Brut, Avant-Garde, Fantasy, Figurative, Multicultural / Ethnic, Mythical, Narrative, Still Life, The Primative. The artwork was created in Pastel. The size of the original art is 58 (inches) H x 38 (inches) W.
Words which artist Barbara Rachko feels best describe this work of art are: Pastel, sandpaper, large, vibrant, unique, interior design, folk art, Mexico, Guatemala, painting, colorful, art collectors, New York.
I am drawn to Mexican and Guatemalan cultural objects—masks, carved wooden animals, papier mâché figures, and toys—for reasons similar to those of Man Ray and the modernists, who in their case were drawn to African art.
On trips to southern Mexico and Guatemala I frequent local mask shops, markets, and bazaars searching for the figures that will later populate my pastel paintings and photographs. How, why, when, and where these objects come into my life is an important part of the process.
I take very old objects with a unique Mexican or Guatemalan past—most have been used in religious festivals—and give them a second life, so to speak, in New York in the present. When I return home I read prodigiously and find out as much about them as I can.