Rio de Janeiro – Rio de Janeiro, 1959
A self-taught artist, Barrão began his artistic career in a group of artists called Seis Mãos (six hands) together with Ricardo Basbaum and Alexandre Dacosta. They worked with video and performances like live paintings and open-air music shows. Barrão was also part of the group Chelpa Ferro with Luiz Zerbini, Sérgio Mekler and Chico Neves, working with sculpture, technological installations and electronic music.
His work is based on processes of assemblage and bricolage: through the juxtaposition and counterposition of everyday objects removed from their original contexts. The materials he uses are everyday household items such as televisions, refrigerators, toys, blenders, basins, stoves, record players, toasters etc. The original functions of these objects are part of the symbology of the narratives of his compositions. What at first seems to be a game of fitting together and assembly, or the attitude of a collector of everyday fleeting trivia, also offers a critique (and perhaps self-criticism?) of contemporary society, the throwaway nature of things and the instant destruction of memory.
Upon further scrutiny, the initial amusement of his work caused by the irreverence of unexpected combinations of objects, soon gives way to despondency when considering these worn-out items, fragments of stories and memories abandoned in time.