Flowers

Barbieri comes to appreciate the fleshiness, vitality and aggressiveness of the flowers of Africa, the Amazon and Polynesia during the many travels in his beloved tropics. He thus began photographing these flowers as an exuberant expression of nature, proudly displaying its most beautiful creation. Whereas Mapplethorpe’s flowers are formally arranged just like his slender greenhouse flowers, those of Barbieri are natural, direct, real, opulent, and joyous, growing with striking expressive purity and simplicity. Barbieri’s photographs combine the prehistoric approach, the aesthetic purpose of classical Greek beauty, and the newly discovered sense of freedom of the Renaissance. All this is expressed by means of an outstanding technical skill “in the studio”. For this, the studio, is the place for the art of photography in Barbieri’s mind; ultimately, it stands for artifice, theatrical representation, the reflection of reality in the eyes of the artist. Barbieri always keeps this well in mind. Hence, the intentionally drawn association between flowers and human bodies should come as no surprise: for the artist the two represent the same unique and magnificent expression of nature.