Exploring Artistic Marginalization: The Exhibition ‘Art & Exclusion’ at the Autonomous University of Barcelona

John Roberto uab art exclusion exhibition

The Exhibition Space of the Theatre Hall at the Autonomous University of Barcelona presents, from March 11th to May 3rd, the exhibition “Art and Exclusion: 4 forms of exclusion in art,” a show that brings together the works of eleven artists who have been marginalized or undervalued by the mainstream art scene.

Eleven artists aim to challenge the mainstream conceptions of art and culture, which often exclude anything that does not fit into their canon. These artists reclaim and celebrate the diversity and authenticity of artistic expression.

Curator John Roberto, researcher and artist, clarifies that one of the main objectives of the initiative is marked by the title of the exhibition. Art and exclusion: four forms of exclusion in art. In his research, he develops four concepts that highlight dynamics of exclusion inherent in conventional art: artists with mental illnesses, artists with physical disabilities, self-taught artists, and urban artists (graffiti artists). They all assert their quality and combat the prejudices surrounding these concepts. Quoting from the informational panels drafted by the curator: The value of the works should not be subject to labels or prejudices, but to their authenticity and emotional impact.

Mainstream art does not consider certain artistic expressions, and furthermore, operates based on the commercial interest that authors may generate. Galleries and museums prefer artists with previous studies in fine arts and subsequent experience and work, as these characteristics supposedly yield greater economic returns than those that could be generated, for example, by a self-taught artist. That’s why the work of these initiatives is essential, as Roberto explained: “There are associations like these, created by the excluded artists themselves, they do not depend on external entities, they manage themselves and I think they are the associations that ultimately are more worthwhile because they coordinate their activities, look for venues, look for spaces and they are the ones who have control over their activity.”

The presented works encompass different techniques and styles, allowing viewers to delve into the minds and emotions of their authors. The participating artists are the curator himself, John Roberto, Daniel Saracho, Ernest Mico, Isaac Soler, Josep Durán, Kelly Arrontes, Laura Cid, Martz Bassart, Pedro Zacarías, Tino Rubio, and Wake Up.