The bizarre, chaotic and dreamlike artwork of Barpt Bounds coats Baked Café in a cloak of artistic mystery.
Predominantly mixed-media collages, the multi-layered pieces evoke a time of confusion and strife as well as social commentary on today’s uneasy truce between technology and nature.
“There’s no overt theme,” says Bounds. “I like to keep a level of ambiguity, a little something to stimulate the imagination and create sensations and emotions.”
The title of his current show reflects the “What’sYour Stupid Line?” WCB campaign currently running on billboards throughout the city. Bounds comments that apparently we have a stupid line, according to the initiatives, and we need to be cared for.
“It’s degrading to adults who care for themselves, and promotes motorized sports for recreation. We don’t need imported, energy-guzzling monsters to enjoy the outdoors.”
His art is a study of the chaotic.
Violent purples, greens, blues mingle in Moist Camera Extrusion, a whirling mash up of faces, machine-like wheels and whorls of colour.
Next to it, the leviathan piece that dominates the room, They Say They Know Better Than Us, flashes lights from a square peephole in the bottom of the artwork. The canvas is dominated by larger-than-life babies, re-enacting the initial bonding moment between mother and child.
“It’s a moment-in-time piece. The child is removed from its womb-like shelter and placed in a world of chaos. There’s all this craziness going on and there is still this beautiful moment,” says Bounds.
And chaos it is — winking purple eyeballs compete with a butchered cell phone parts littering the right side of the canvas.
Peering into the peephole at the bottom of the canvas shows a window into the soul of the Anunnaki, which Bounds explains as extra-terrestrial reptilian deities. They are represented in the artwork as plastic crocodiles living in a twitching, uneasy space of blinking light and jumbled artifacts.
The art also represents a crumb of political ideology, with the word TAX written on the right.
Baked is salted liberally with Bounds’ art, from the large and imposing to the small and delicate. A strange seascape in an oval canvas floats above Baked’s door, and a chiaroscuro painting hangs behind the baristas counter.
Paying particular homage to the female form, a series of small framed pieces featuring female nudes with oddities like sharks nestle in the corner of Baked.
Bounds works primarily with collage and he experiments in mixed-media to create nightmarish illustrations or dreamlike paintings.
“My muse, Eris, works through me. Some art is done in a trance, not thinking, not doing, just channelling and emoting,” says Bounds.
The artwork is incredibly detailed, and when viewing it, you feel you could stare at the artwork forever and never quite capture what is happening within it.
It takes repeat visits just to be able to describe the renderings of Barpt Bounds.
What’s Your Stupid Line: Renderings of a Dying Civilization runs until March 11 at Baked Café.