Birimbao Gallery in Seville, Spain, is currently showing Charleston, Lambada, Perreo, a solo exhibition by Ana Barriga, comprising of 11 all-new, oil-based mixed media paintings. Continuing her efforts to twist reality and play with common objects, the vibrant new pieces are full of unexpected twists and turns, both technically and conceptually. The exhibition is on view through October 31, 2018. 

Taking oil painting as a base of her work, Barriga usually starts her images by redefining an existing object. From porcelain figurines, toys, everyday items, she then composes the image within a surreal flamboyant setting that is created with anything from enamel paint, markers or spray paint. The contrast of realistically depicting the main motif and playfully drawing or sketching its surrounding implies the viewer to trivialize the way of seeing the everyday life. Although generally portraying static objects in this series, the work still feels energetic and joyful mostly due to the expressive nature of the painting process and the eclectic mixture of techniques. This relaxed, playful approach is extended to the title of the show which is borrowed from three popular dances associated with minorities, which after being "despised" achieved global respect.

The reference to dancing as carefree activity also carries somewhat of a subliminal message as on multiple occasions dancing was a form of a peaceful protest. For example, cueca sola, a variant of the Chilean folk dance that is performed by a single woman carrying a portrait of her loved one, recalls her tragic loss regularly linked to Pinochet's military coup. Also, voguing, LGBT protest dance created by Madonna that is based on exaggerating the feminine movements. Filled with imagination, humor, and knowledge, these texture-rich paintings are confronting the narcissism present often in artistic representations, by constructing high-spirited images that evoke reflection and catharsis, and can be enjoyed on many different levels regardless of viewers intellectual or cultural background. —Sasha Bogojev