Interview with Barabeke
Who is Barabeke?
Barabeke in my local dialect from Padova means “bogeyman”. That’s how my father sometimes used to call me when I was a kid. I am an Italian in London, a man of intuition and wit, but after all a common man with common problems. More than an artist I am someone who likes to provide others with inspiration, no matter if they are artists or scientists. My mission is to inspire people who are less common than me who will come after me. I don’t hope to succeed in it, but I try.
How do works like your “The Carrying of the Cross” come to life, also on a technical level?
My most complex works require, apart from some inner work, a huge work with Photoshop. My version of Bosch’s “The Carrying of the Cross”, in which I am the model for all the 18 characters and where all sort of symbols plus fractals appear, required months of work and the final image file was 1GB heavy. I interpreted Bosch’s original characters in a free and grotesque way. Someone may not like that I also interpreted Christ, but at the same time I was the persecutor, the vicious, the proud… I consider that painting from Bosch as a powerful representation of the human drama that unravels within us in what Jung would call “collective unconscious”. In my psychedelic version I am all the characters not in an effort to be a superman (even though I also appear as Superman) but as a common man.
Talking about fractal art, what’s your process for creating those works?
I’ve never been good at maths but thanks to a software called Ultra Fractal I can play with formulas and visually explore the fractal space that is generated. Then it’s all a matter to follow my instinct. When it comes to fractal art, mine is more a work of recognition than a work of creation.
Looking at many of your works it’s possible to notice a certain taste for symmetry.
As an indigenous who looks at it for the first time, I am not entirely convinced that behind a mirror there is nothing to be found. From here my interest for reflecting surfaces and my passion for apps that permit to reflect images. Many of my recent works have been entirely created on my iPhone.
What is Fractal Surrealism?
Fractal Surrealism is simply a term I created to define those works in which I mix photos with fractals. I don’t think it exists as an artistic movement, I’ve never seen anything similar so far at least. If we talk about digital surrealism, I think there are many people around who are much better than me. For me the creative act, rather than an aesthetic pursuit, is an urgency that I cannot avoid and is fuelled by the need to deliver my message to the next generations.
What’s the message behind your works?
I hold eccentric opinions about the origin and nature of the universe, which have some scientist among their sympathizers. Basically I believe that our universe exists within a machine, a super computer running a simulation that is so complex that it will take us several centuries to create it ourselves. As a consequence reality is a projection of our consciousness, as in Eastern philosophies or in Berkeley. Nothing exists if not observed, or better it exists as potential until is calculated into existence by interacting with us. Time travel is technically possible, and so instantly reaching every corner of the universe and beyond. Those who created us live in a dimension above us within an universe that is basically a Russian doll containing ours.
And what is your purpose in supporting this belief?
I just think it’s a good idea for humanity. An idea that may prove to be a vehicle for peace and maybe save future generations from a dark night… Such idea is just a preparation to my key artistic message, which will be revealed at the end of my Voyage at the centre of the universe, an adventure inside a fractal that I am publishing on my Instagram.
(This interview was originally published in Italian on Daily Storm)
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