Carlos Barberena (b.1972) is a Contemporary Nicaraguan Printmaker best known for his satirical relief prints and the use of images from pop culture, as well as from political and cultural tragedies.
In his art, Barberena has consistently reflected on the cycles of repression and resistance and its relationship to the Diaspora in which he has lived, throughout dictatorship, revolution, erasure, renewal, hope, dictatorship and repression. His prints center these types of life experiences occurring far beyond his country. He creates to counteract the great silence around repression occurring globally believing we are all intimately connected to it. He seeks to demystify the “foreign” experience, to bridge the distances that life across any border or wall produces, but also, the difference in the content of these experiences. He creates to bring awareness to the interconnectedness among them, focusing on injustices of social, political, economic and environmental injustice. At time he evokes with satirical images, at others, through the mundane, unseen things people carry: memories, attachments, relationships and traumas. In each he highlight the myriad cycles of oppression and struggle.
Barberena has exhibited individually in Costa Rica, Estonia, France, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain and The United States of America, his work also has been shown in Art Biennials, Museums, Galleries and Cultural Centers around the world.
He has received various awards, most notably “Best in Show – PrintAustin: The Contemporary Print” 2023 Juried Exhibition, The Art Galleries at ACC, Austin, TX; “The Elizabeth Catlett Memorial Award” 2021 MAPC Juried Exhibition, University of Iowa; “DNSPE Purchase Award 2022” Bradbury Art Museum, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR; – Second Prize Winner – in the “9th Annual Art Competition” at the Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago; “SPARK Grant Award”, Chicago Artist Coalition and the Joyce Foundation; “Cross Currents: Intercambio Cultural, Chicago – Havana, 2017-2019”. MacArthur Foundation International Connections; “National Printmaking Award 2012” given by the Nicaraguan Institute of Culture, Managua, Nicaragua; “Parchemin d’Honneur”, 8 Triennale Mondial de l’Estampe et de la Gravure Originale, AMAC, Chamalieres, Auvergne, France, “Revueltas Award” for Visual Arts 2019, Pilsen Fest, Chicago, and the award- poster for the Ecology and Human Rights in Banana Plantations in Costa Rica, given by GEBANA in Berlin, Germany.
Barberena’s work is included in numerous public and private collections.
Currently Barberena lives and works in Chicago, where he runs the printmaking projects: Bandolero Press & La Calaca Press. He is also a member of the Instituto Grafico de Chicago.
– Academia Non-Grata. Pärnu, Estonia.
– AMAC – Galerie d’Art Contemporain. – The Triennial Prints Cabinet – Chamalieres, France.
– Benedictine University. Lisle, IL. USA.
– Benson Latin American Art Collection – The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX. USA.
– Bibliotheca Alexadrina. – Permanent Art Collection – Alexandria, Egypt.
– Bradbury Art Museum. – Permanent Art Collection – Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR. USA.
– Cannonball Press. Brooklyn, New York. USA.
– Centro Cultural Antiguo Colegio Jesuita. Taller de Formación y Producción Gráfica, Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, México.
– Colegio Universitario de Cartago. C.U.C. Cartago, Costa Rica.
– Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Fort Wayne, IN. USA.
– Galería Nacional. Centro Costarricense de Ciencia y Cultura, Museo de los Niños. San José, Costa Rica.
– Galería Praxis. Managua, Nicaragua.
– George Fox University Art Collection – Brandt Fund Purchase -.Newberg, OR. USA.
– International Exlibriscentrum. Stedelijke Musea, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
– Kyoto International Woodprint Association (KIWA). Kyoto, Japan.
– Latino Cultural Art Center (LCAC) Denver, CO. USA.
– Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA). Chicago, IL. USA.
– Mexic-Arte Museum. Austin, TX. USA.
– Museo de Arte Contemporáneo “Julio Cortázar” Sala Latinoamericana, INC, Managua, Nicaragua.
– Museo Fundación Ortíz-Gurdián. – Colección de Arte Contemporáneo – Casa Deshon, León, Nicaragua.
– Museo Lía Bermúdez. Centro de Arte de Maracaibo Lía Bermúdez. Zulia. Venezuela.
– Museu do Gravura Douro. – Douro Printmaking Biennial Collection – Alijo, Portugal.
– Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA). – Gráfica América – Long Beach, CA.
– Museum of Texas Tech University – Artist Printmaker Research Collection -. Lubbock, TX. USA
– National Museum of Mexican Art. Chicago, IL. USA.
– Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, México.
– University of Colorado at Boulder. – Special Collection – Boulder, CO. USA
– Whitney Museum of American Art / Special Collection. New York, NY. USA.
– Wheaton College Art Collection. Wheaton, IL. USA.
– York College Permanent Art Collection. York College, York, PA. USA.
Edited February 2022.