"The Good The Bad The Belle" by British artist Barnaby Barford (2009)

Barnaby Barford: “Happy Meal” (detail) from The Good The Bad The Belle series, H 21 cm x W 100 cm x D 40 cm, porcelain, earthenware, enamel paint, painted wooden base, other media, 2009 (© Barnaby Barford 2009)

About this series:

This focused series of pieces explores ideas of lost youth in today’s society. The work looks at eating habits, violence, education, gang culture and perceptions of childhood. The original figurines used are chocolate box images of childhood where even a street urchin is depicted as a romantic notion. The process of updating these figures plays as much of an important role in the work as the completed pieces.

About Barnaby Barford:

Barnaby Barford is an artist who works primarily with ceramics to create unique narrative pieces. He works with both mass-market and antique found porcelain figurines, cutting up and exchanging elements or adding to them and repainting them, to create sculptures which are often sinister and sardonic but invariably humorous. With irony, he draws a portrait of our contemporary lives. […]

Barnaby Barford (b. 1977) graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2002. He has been the subject of several solo exhibitions in the UK, and has shown in exhibitions in the US and Japan as well as across Europe. (About)

An interesting article about this specific series was published in The Telegraph on April 14, 2009:

Mr Barford said his collection, called ‘The Good, The Bad, The Belle’, reflects how the youth of today are perceived by the older generation. The 31-year-old, who lives in London with his wife Valeria, 31, added that there had been a mixed reaction to his unusual figurines. He said: “It’s been interesting to see different people’s reactions to the models. “Some people think they’re horrific and others think they’re funny. “But in general there’s been a great response – people enjoy the humour. “I think people are shocked because the models catch them off guard – they’re seeing these usually traditional, pretty porcelain models in a totally new context. “In a way it is shocking but I don’t believe it’s in a gross way.” Mr Barford uses antique porcelain models, bought from car-boot sales and charity shops, as a base for his collection. The original models are dismantled by the artist and given a dramatic facelift from, what he calls, the ‘idealistic’ images of childhood to a more humorous, modern image of youth. (“Artist turns traditional porcelain figurines into ‘Chav’ scenes”)


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