Carlos Barberena is a Contemporary Nicaraguan Printmaker known for his relief prints and
the use of images from pop culture, as well as from political and cultural tragedies.
In his art, he 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. In his prints, he center such life experiences occurring
far beyond his country. At times he evokes them with satirical images, at others, through the
mundane, unseen things people carry: memories, attachments, relationships and traumas.
He creates to counteract the great silence in the face of 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. Barberena creates to bring awareness
to the interconnectedness among them, focusing on the struggle for social political,
economic and environmental justice.
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 "The Elizabeth Catlett Memorial Award"
2021 MAPC Juried Exhibition, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA;
"DNSPE Purchase Award 2022" Bradbury Art Museum, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR;
- Second Prize - "9th Annual Art Competition" at the Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, IL;
SPARK Grant Award, Chicago Artist Coalition and the Joyce Foundation, Chicago, IL;
“Cross Currents: Intercambio Cultural” Chicago - Havana, 2017 - 2019. MacArthur Foundation International Connections;
"Revueltas Award" for Visual Arts 2019, Pilsen Fest, Chicago, IL;
“National Printmaking Award 2012” given by the Nicaraguan Institute of Culture in Managua, Nicaragua;
“Parchemin d’Honneur”, 8 Triennale Mondial de l’Estampe et de la Gravure Originale, AMAC,
Chamalieres, Auvergne, France 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 Bandolero Press.
He is also a member of the Instituto Gráfico de Chicago.
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