Robbie Barber

    Exhibition: Pop Up, 1995

    Goddard Nomad V, 1995

    Painted steel

    8' x 9' x 2'6"

    Influenced by literary science fiction, toy design, and American folk art, I use my rural southern heritage as a point of departure to create fantastic hybrid images. For example, with Goddard Nomad V, a mobile home is transformed into a spacecraft of dubious reliability and reminds us of the American tragedy involving the space shuttle "Challenger." An homage to the ingenuity of rocket pioneer, Robert Goddard, this sculpture was built in Roswell, New Mexico, where Mr. Goddard practiced his theories. Having been raised in North Carolina, the Southern landscape and the images provoked by this landscape are very important to me. I am fascinated with the strong character and the sense of history prevalent in southern dwellings. Architectural monuments such as tobacco barns, house trailers, and feed mills reflect an agrarian way of life that is fading out of existence due to social and economic changes. Therefore, I am compelled to deal with these changes in a visual sense. With this in mind, I create work that pays homage to this way of life. In conclusion, I want my work to be seen as both raw and sensuous, funny yet serious. By this layering effect, I hope the viewer will react to the piece in a way that will force the reevaluation of its imagery.
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