Olivo Barbieri Captures The Real And Surreal In The Adriatic Seaairport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar
Olivo Barbieri Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 17, 2015 Archival Pigment Print | Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery
Olivo Barbieri Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 17, 2015 Archival Pigment Print | Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery

Olivo Barbieri Captures The Real And Surreal In The Adriatic Sea

Capri-born artist Olivo Barbieri wants to immortalize your family vacation photos. The Italian photographer’s Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People, his sixth solo exhibition at Yancey Richardson Gallery in Chelsea, captures, ironically, the candid.

Barbieri’s exhibition at Yancey Richardson Gallery showcased a series of photographs, taken from a helicopter, which find vacationers along the coastline of the Adriatic Sea in all states of play; reposing on floating lounge chairs, leading children in floaties, even engaging in what seems to be some form of water aerobics.

Olivo Barbieri Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 6, 2015 Archival Pigment Print | Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery

Olivo Barbieri, Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 6, 2015. Archival Pigment Print. | Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

 

Olivo Barbieri Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 7, 2015 Archival Pigment Print

Olivo Barbieri, Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 7, 2015. Archival Pigment Print. | Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

And it’s the series’ honest, candid nature that lent Adriatic Sea its charm and its whimsy. Barbieri, renowned for his innovations with tilt-shift lens photography, renders the typical Adriatic Sea vacation photo into a surreal, almost cartoonish visual experience; the blue of the waters is saturated to candy store extremes, and the figures warped into caricatures of themselves, or even just silhouettes filled with white. It’s this combination of the real – the vacationers engaged in the everyday, and the surreal – the digital manipulation of the photos, that rendered Adriatic Sea a fascinating exhibition; the ridiculousness of the everyday is emphasized, as is the ordinariness of the dreamlike.

Olivo Barbieri Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 8, 2015 Archival Pigment Print | Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery

Olivo Barbieri, Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 8, 2015. Archival Pigment Print. | Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

 

Olivo Barbieri Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 14, 2015 Archival Pigment Print | Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery

Olivo Barbieri, Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 14, 2015. Archival Pigment Print. | Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

The viewer sees how the run-of-the-mill rendition of water aerobics, or even just dance, suddenly seems surreal, beautiful, alien; and how the rendering of the tourists into cartoonish or even outlines suddenly emphasizes the ubiquity of an experience as simple as going to a beach. The man in the green trunks could be your father, the woman in the yellow bathing suit, your wife. Thus Barbieri gives us the gift of projection. It’s a beautiful dance in a virtual paradise, and you’re invited – all you have to do is squint hard enough.

Olivo Barbieri Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 9, 2015 Archival Pigment Print | Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery

Olivo Barbieri, Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 9, 2015. Archival Pigment Print. | Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

 

Olivo Barbieri Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 10, 2015 Archival Pigment Print | Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery

Olivo Barbieri, Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People 10, 2015. Archival Pigment Print. | Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People was on view until March 19th, 2016, at Yancey Richardson Gallery.