Spotlight: American-Barbadian Artist Bhare Plumbs Personal Experiences and Blockchain Potentialities in a New Solo Show

The artist's recent body of work is on view at Colonna Contemporary.

Bhare, another lukewarm shower (2023). Courtesy of Colonna Contemporary, Wayne, PA.

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What You Need to Know: Colonna Contemporary, located in Wayne, Pennsylvania, is currently presenting the solo exhibition “Bhare: Building a Happier Home.” On view through January 29, 2024, the show is comprised of 29 new works primarily done on canvas—several of which have an NFT digital pairing. “Building a Happier Home” traces both Bhare’s artistic and personal journey, offering insight into the development of his unique visual language and autobiographic experiences, ultimately engaging with themes of identity, mental health, and personal evolution. Significant to the show is the featuring of a Proof of Exhibition produced by Atomic Sign; Proof of Exhibition being a timestamped, cryptographically signed attestation with the details of the show at Colonna Contemporary. Fully documented and accessible in perpetuity in the digital realm, the legacy of the exhibition marks a moment wherein the digital and a real-life art event intersect.

About the Artist: Originally from Queens, New York, first-generation Barbadian American artist Bhare initially studied hospitality at Johnson and Wales University, Charlotte, North Carolina, where he received his B.F.A. in 2020. Bhare ultimately turned his attention to his artistic practice, and has devoted more than two years to developing a studio practice centered on synthesizing lived experiences and distinctive environments. He began exhibiting his work in 2021, and has been included in group exhibitions and has been the subject of solo shows across the United States, as well as in Milan and Copenhagen. Bhare has also created a strong presence within the Web3 community, allowing him—and his work—to move between both traditional and digital mediums and venues, and allowing him to leverage each to forward his practice and work.

Why We Like It: Though Bhare’s unique style is evocative of several art historical precedents, such as Neo-Expressionism or art brut, there is a diaristic quality in the compositions that immediately sets it apart. The arrangement of common spaces, such as a bathroom in another lukewarm shower (2023) or bedroom in come closer, the power’s out (2023), is immediately recognizable, but the vacillation between representation and abstraction, light and dark grounds, as well as distorted perspectives, lends to each work appearing as something akin to a memory or fragment of the imagination. Snippets of text, such as in the latter painting, which reads, “I light a candle to cut through the dark atmosphere / I wouldn’t buy this scent again,” are at once poetic and mundane, something that could be understood as a metaphor or a simple passing observation. Together, the works in the exhibition are deeply personal yet highly relatable, bringing to the fore ideas and emotions around solitude, life changes, and perspectives on day-to-day life.

See inside the exhibition and featured work below.

Bhare, come closer, the power’s out (2023). Courtesy of Colonna Contemporary, Wayne, PA.

Bhare, a home built on happiness (2023). Courtesy of Colonna Contemporary, Wayne, PA.

Installation view of “Bhare: Building a Happier Home” (2023). Courtesy of Colonna Contemporary, Wayne, PA.

Installation view of “Bhare: Building a Happier Home” (2023). Courtesy of Colonna Contemporary, Wayne, PA.

Installation view of “Bhare: Building a Happier Home” (2023). Courtesy of Colonna Contemporary, Wayne, PA.

Bhare: Building a Happier Home” is on view at Colonna Contemporary, Wayne, PA, through January 29, 2023.

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