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Álvaro Barrios’s iconic comic book style burgeoned from an early passion for drawing, inspired by the comics he read as a child. Though he pursued his studies in architecture, he began to make artworks, in his own words, because “I was especially interested in the sense of nostalgia that comics transmitted in me.” His first works, executed in the 1960s, were collages of comic pages. In 1967, Barrios first encountered the work of Marcel Duchamp and was so deeply affected by the experience that he called his subsequent work a constant reflection of Duchamp’s. Barrios was also influenced by theories of Surrealism, graphic design, and poetry. Though critics compared Barrios to Pop artists and Roy Lichtenstein following his first solo show in 1996, Barrios says that he never felt an affinity for either.


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