THE DESIRE FOR THE ABSURD

This month, we would like to feature the artist MARC BADIA, and his desire for the absurd. We are interested in his recurring approach to humor as a tool for dissecting the painting as an object and his personal approach to art. 

We have asked Marc, when and why of his artistic beginnings: "I have only recently begun to understand it as a job... I've been painting since I was a kid; although I spent many hours painting, for me it was simply an escape. Then around five years ago it suddenly clicked thanks to a series of people I met".

His interests are extensive and difficult to label: in his work, he investigates the connections between the history of traditional painting and contemporary aesthetics.  He also delves into the behavioral codes and images born from the web and their influence on contemporary forms of expression, where everyday experiences and settings closely converge into the foundational source for the absurd: "I am interested in many things: painting itself, the memes, gifs I receive, hip-hop music, the absurd and foolishness, the seven years I spent working as a cashier, drinking beer with my colleagues, capitalism, pataphysics", and his references are equally diverse, "from my grandfather to Walter Swennen".

As you may have guessed, painting is precisely Marc's main discipline. He is interested in his own genealogical inheritance with regards to the artistic disciplines he works with and its conditioning towards his choices.  These judgments still challenge him today: "I am fascinated by the pictorial heritage and its influence on me - and my own relevance towards it. That is, when someone is watching a painting, the interpretation they make of it -depends on the conceptual and inherited tradition of that medium; and in the case of painting, the rich historical weight implies the impossibility to forecast the neuro-translation-processes applied, making the viewers' connotations and understanding out of control by the artist himself. All these potential outcomes and possibilities in communicating with the object, the image, the matter ... fascinate me. However, the fact of facing a blank canvas is different. I am full of constraints and therefore the frame is a series of limitations established within a specific time and space".

Summarizing his main projects so far, "The Foolosopherat Hans & Fritz Contemporary was the first solo exhibition I did in Barcelona within the context of ArtNou. Foolosopher is a term that appears in The Middle Ages and Renaissance period writings. It comes from the Ancient Greek word "philosopher" (philosophos), meaning "lover of wisdom", in which the edge (love) is replaced by (a fool); The result is an oxymoron: a fool of wisdom. Despite being able to appear pejorative, it was sometimes used to point out that in certain aspects in which even the wisest fails, the idiot can still hit the target. It was at that moment I clearly saw the relationship of my work with humor and the absurd".

This playfulness between desire, humor and the absurd have always been present in his work, as in the exhibition Jumanji (with Yann Leto and Jan Monclús) in EspositivoLet me die alone but please film it, at the Arranz Bravo Foundation or the work he presented in Archipelago; and in the Former English Embassy, in Madrid. In the latter, he included a ticket series made during his working hours as a cashier: "I had hacked the ticket machine and printed drawings I later made into paintings. In one of these tickets, I simply wrote BORRRRRRRRRRRRRING, which I made into a t-shirt.  It appears in several of my pieces such as 'Artwork 2' or 'Style is a losing game'." His relationship with work also appears in 'Cashier's don't cry' or 'Another day in Paradise', a piece presented in the exhibition Kaia Shechema, in the Casino of Vic, composed of various ticket strips. 

In The Foolosopher, he showed us paintings and sculptures related to a viral video in which the word 'tornado' from the song 'Thinking' Bot You' by Frank Ocean was misunderstood with 'potato'. In the exhibition, Let me die alone but please film it, he focused on humor and the relationship between failure and success. In Jumanji, although, it was a challenge for him to jargon between his playfulness and the serious arena of his fellow painters; he managed to fool us all once more -turning from a desired prey into the predator who eloquently feeds his work through the clear lens of the absurd.