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Barry Reigate

Artist Biography

Barry Reigate was born in 1971, London. He attended Camberwell College of Arts and then went on to study at Goldsmiths from 1995-97.

His cartoon style and controversial themes are reminiscent of contemporaries such as Jeff Koons and others whose work can be seen as allegories for the history of art, and commentaries on the cultural zeitgeist. Reigate frequently highlights hypocrisy that surrounds issues such as sexuality, art, race and class. His darkly humorous cartoon parodies of today’s attitudes arrest the viewer and subvert all expectations for a medium that carries implicit ideas of innocence.

“I like the simultaneous reference to cartoons and modern art over the last century,” says Reigate, “While modernism grew, cartoons consumed the very essence of transcendental popularity.”
“The dumbness is from too much knowledge,
” Reigate perceives, “All this information goes into the paintings. Layer after layer of collage, drawing, crayon, airbrush… Making work is a kind of expenditure for this ‘stuff’. When I make a painting it may refer to moments in art’s history, but I did not do that consciously. It’s the energy of apathy kicking in.”

Reigate’s artistic medium of choice - cartoon is fundamental to his ethos. As a medium or reality that forges a new metaphysics with its own rules, rather than imitating an existing one. It is, as he describes it, “something to depart from the ‘real’ world, into one of escape and play where meaning and reason slips into a different social context.”

Reigate has had solo shows in London at Nang Gallery (2009), Paradise Row (2008 and 2011) and Trolley Gallery (2006). His group exhibitions include Rude Britannia: British Comic Art at Tate Gallery in 2010, and Newspeak: British Art Now at Saatchi Gallery in 2010.